Rutgers School of Public Health Dean Comments on President Biden’s Declaration that the Pandemic is Over

Perry N. Halkitis, Dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health, is available to speak on President Biden’s declaration that the pandemic is over during a 60 Minutes interview.

The following are quotes by Dr. Halkitis, which are available for pick-up:

“While science has helped to advance our management of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19, the disease is still very much evident in our U.S. population. This is in great part due to human behaviors and motivations—including subpar vaccination uptake—which continue to place all of us at risk for infection. So, while we are better equipped to control this virus biologically, we are by no means free of it. Biomedical interventions in and of themselves will not free us of this or any disease unless we couple them with interventions that target behaviors, motivations for health-seeking and the social conditions that undermine the health of our most marginalized communities and populations with behavioral and structural change. You see: The virus doesn’t outsmart us; we as people allow it to spread and persist.  

“My concern also is that some will interpret the concept of the pandemic ending to mean there is no more disease. Indeed, we are moving in the correct direction, but COVID-19 is now endemic to many nations around the world for the foreseeable future, which means people will continue to become infected and some will die—especially those who do not engage in proactive vaccination behaviors.” 

 

Media interested in talking to Halkitis can contact Patti Verbanas at [email protected] or 848-932-0551.