US Food and Drug Administration Acting Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said during a Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committee hearing on Tuesday the situation right now is that most people are going to get Covid-19, and the focus now must be on making sure hospitals and essential services function.
Woodcock was responding to a question from Sen. Mike Braun, a Republican from Indiana, about whether it’s time for the United States to change its strategy on Covid-19. Her statement was not a new assessment of Covid-19, but in order to make clear the need to prioritize essential services as the Omicron variant surges.
“Well, I think that we're talking about a natural disaster and you can fire your board of directors because your factory was devastated by a hurricane or tornado or a wildfire, but I don't know whether that would improve this situation,” Woodcock said.
“I think right now, we need to focus on continuity of operations for hospitals and other essential services as this variant sweeps through the population. I don't think that will last a really long time, but that, I think that's where we are right now. So I don’t think prior approaches reflect what’s going on right now," she said.
“I think it's hard to process what's actually happening right now, which is: Most people are going to get Covid. All right, and what we need to do is make sure the hospitals can still function, transportation, you know, other essential services are not disrupted while this happens," the official continued.
“I think after that will be a good time to reassess how we're approaching this pandemic," Woodcock added.