‘Tough Few Months Ahead,' Doctor Warns as COVID Cases Continue to Rise

Dr. Ashish Jha said the situation "has clearly turned worse," and we must redouble our efforts to fight the virus

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Initial optimism about a largely COVID free summer are beginning to wane, as the situation has quickly taken a turn for the worse, according to Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health.

Jha took to Twitter on Sunday to issue a warning and talk about what needs to happen to keep things from deteriorating further.

"For much of winter, spring, I was VERY optimistic we'd have a great summer with few infections, deaths," he said. "Through June, things looked good. But [the] situation has clearly turned worse."

He said three things have turned out worse than he originally thought -- the Delta variant is far more contagious than anticipated, the rate of vaccination has slowed and it appears more breakthrough infections are being reported as people get further out from their shots.

So how can we turn things around?

Jha said public health measures like masks, reduced indoor gatherings, better ventilation and testing will help. But really, the most important thing is to make sure more people get vaccinated.

Right now, he said the country is at about 67% vaccinated, and we need to get to 85% to 90% to really make an impact.

The alternative? "A lot more infections," he said.

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