Obama’s former health adviser: “The virus has not finished its evolution”
Raphael Bengoa (70 years old, Caracas) is a doctor specializing in health management and has been a Minister of Health for the Basque Country, a health adviser to Obama and director of Health Systems for the World Health Organization (WHO). As an expert, he believes that the virus has not finished evolving yet. That Ómicron is not the end, that COVID-19 is here to stay and that, in order to anticipate the unpredictability of the virus, the most sensible thing to do is increase the capacity of the health system and create favorable conditions in classrooms to prevent contagion among children. “Primary care is our bench. You have to sign up.”
“We have relied on the fact that Ómicron is more or less severe, but this variant is a coin with two faces. One is less severe. The other, Omicron is very transmissible. Therefore, in absolute numbers, a lot of sick people appear. Not everyone lives Omicron in a light way. Therefore it is not a flu, or if it is a flu it is very severe. It would have been desirable to make strategies on both sides of the coin, not only on one, but as it was not done and we have only strategically relied on the idea of less severity, it has taken us where we are. This has created a demand on the health system, probably the worst in its history this month. With less mortality, but with an absolutely brutal demand. In any case, it is also difficult for us to have waves of the size and verticality of this one.”
“There are many people who think that Suddenly, after a specific day, we are in the endemic phase. Viruses don’t do that. We are still in a pandemic. Viruses do not stop with a bombardment, they stop slowly, with outbreaks that we will have to continue to control. They will be controllable outbreaks because there is a lot of immunity in the country, but we must not think that endemic means disappearance and eradication of the virus, but rather that it stays with us. The virus has not finished evolving and we are also making life difficult for it. Therefore, as the virus has not yet been fully defined, we are going to enter the endemic phase, probably in late spring.“.