By Aakansha Malia 1:47 pm PST

U.S. President Joe Biden’s diagnosis of Covid-19 has drawn global attention due to the failure of an effective Covid-19 response in the U.S. and worldwide. The United States is currently witnessing a sharp rise in the number of cases driven by the BA.5 omicron subvariant of the Coronavirus. In the latest development, the Biden Administration has announced they have signed an agreement with Moderna to buy 66 million doses of the company’s next generation vaccine. The Pentagon, in its efforts to expand Americans’ access to vaccines, will ensure delivery by the end of September of this year. The decision comes amid a recent surge in Covid-19 cases in the U.S, with deaths crossing nearly 500 people per day.

The White House pandemic response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha made an important public announcement on Friday of last week. He said that the virus is ever-evolving and is here to stay, forever. He further highlighted the importance of vaccination and building up immunity against the virus. The announcement was made with the caveat that it’s impossible to fully eradicate the virus and its transmissibility. Jha also stated that it is not March 2020 and what the focus should now be on is minimizing the impact of the virus. With the current blanket of natural immunity and booster shots, the cases will eventually become more and more mild. “We’re at a point where we can prevent every Covid-19 related death in America,” Jha stated.

U.S President Joe Biden’s contraction of the virus after being fully vaccinated brought back the focus on Coronavirus after months of forgotten priorities about the pandemic. Public Health Experts believe that President Biden’s infection highlights the complacency with which people are dealing with the virus. Americans have also stopped wearing masks and resumed travel normally after Biden said that Americans should decide for themselves if they want to wear a mask on public transportation. The pandemic is far from over, yet ironically the measures to contain it are decreasing with each passing day. Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Adviser on the virus said recently at a news briefing, “We should not let it disrupt our lives.”

Currently, the Omicron subvariant, BA.5, makes up 80% of the new cases being reported in the United States. According to US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, around 126,000 infections are being reported every day, which is 26% higher than last month. Black and Hispanic people in rural areas are suffering a great toll due overstretched health systems and poverty. Hospitals in many U.S states are reporting more Covid-19 patients than a week earlier, with 18 states reporting deaths and hospitalizations climbing by 20%.

According to a Reuters study, one in 13 adults in the US have long Covid-19 symptoms, including fatigue, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, cognitive difficulties, chronic pain, sensory abnormalities and muscle weakness. Amid this reduced virus surveillance and growing complacency, the World health Organization has raised concern over the challenge countries would face in the winter and autumn months. It has urged countries to address gaps in pandemic monitoring to avoid preventable deaths and severe disruptions to health systems.