Former Obama administration official says shift in us toward personal choice on COVID precautions could backfire

Former Obama administration official says shift in us toward personal choice on COVID precautions could backfire

A former Obama administration health official said on Monday that the shift in the U.S. toward personal choice when it comes to COVID 19 precautions could backfire.

My biggest issue with the theme of it's-your-call that s out there is that we don't do this in any other area of illness, health, or disease or burden, said Dr. Kavita Patel, a physician who served as a health policy director in the Obama administration and told CNBC squawk Box in an interview Monday.

Many health officials favor voluntary masking, boosters, and isolation time after exposure to COVID 19 rather than stricter previous mandates and recommendations after exposure to COVID-19, a move that is a significant shift from the past two years of the epidemic. The idea is that with a majority of the population vaccinated and treatments available that make severe or deadly COVID cases less likely for most people, COVID precautions can become a matter of personal risk.

There is a need for government to empower people to use tools that are readily available, and people are going to choose different levels of protection based on their tolerance of risk and how much they want to avoid COVID- 19, according to Leana Wen, an emergency physician and professor at George Washington University.

That seems like a very poor way for a country that has been told for two years, Here s what you need to do, here s how you need to do it, and now we do what? Tell people to go to and cross their fingers and hope that they can navigate the site and get to treatment? She told CNBC.

On Monday a federal judge in Florida voided the Biden administration mask mandate on airplanes and other public transportation. The White House said the TSA will no longer enforce masking at airports, and major airlines made masking optional on flights, leading to cheers from some and disappointment from others.

COVID 19 cases are rising across the country, as a result of the BA. The U.S. averaged 37,619 new cases a day as of Sunday, an increase of 39% over the previous two weeks, according to a New York Times tracker. Hospitalizations fell by 7% to a per-day average of 14,768 and deaths dropped by 21% to an average of 511 a day, the lowest point since the early months of the Pandemic in 2020.