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News too Real 7-23-21 Part 1A: CDC gives update of COVID-19 pandemic concerning delta variant

By ONME Newswire

In this ONME News Review's, News Too Real episode, Part 1A: CDC gives update of COVID-19 pandemic concerning delta variant, producer host Julia Dudley Najieb reviews Ethnic Media Services media briefing with CDC officials Dr. Lauri Hicks and Dr. Jose Montero, who talked one-on-one with the ethnic media about the delta variant, mask recommendations, and other COVID-19 related issues.

Hear their comments on masks recommendations and why the delta variant is dangerous to us all.

As the debate continues among states on whether to require mask wearing or not, the COVID-19 delta variant is raging in California, which has seen an uptick in cases and hospitalizations concerning COVID-19 related illnesses.

Although criticism weighs in heavily with the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) guidelines on mask wearing for vaccinated peoples, and as schools get ready to reopen with the same query, some African-Americans are worried about the flip-flop behavior by the information-health czars of the land; can they trust the message?

Ironically, the CDS's message should not be questioned to some extent, as they are the nation’s top federal public health agency under the Department of Health & Human Services, headquartered in Atlanta, GA. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, the CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats.

Two medical experts from the CDC, Dr. Hicks and Dr. Montero, give what the direct message actually is from this agency, identifying and explaining what may have appeared to be mix messaging concerning the guidelines on mask wearing.

Dr. Lauri Hicks, DO is a medical epidemiologist in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is also a Captain in the US Public Health Service. Dr. Hicks attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency at the University of Connecticut. This was followed by a 2-year position as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at CDC. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in infectious diseases at Brown University, Dr. Hicks returned to CDC to lead respiratory outbreak response and the Legionnaires’ disease program. She leads research on antibiotic use and resistance trends and serves as the campaign spokesperson. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

Dr. Hicks referenced data that points to the concern of Black Americans continuing to be the unvaccinated; for those who have taken the first shot, but are still hesitant, It is not too late to get the second dose, she confirmed.

Dr. José T. Montero, MD, MHCDS, is the director of the Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support, where he oversees support to the US health departments and those serving tribal nations and insular areas. Previously, Dr. Montero served as vice president of population health and health system integration at Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene. For seven years, Dr. Montero served as director of the Division of Public Health Services at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Montero holds a medical degree from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He completed his residency at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia. He also holds an epidemiology degree from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, received his certification of field epidemiology from the Colombia Field Epidemiology Training Program and a master’s of healthcare delivery science from Dartmouth College.

Although it was confirmed that the CDC had not declared a third wave of the pandemic, Dr. Montero still reiterated the issue of COVID-19 cases increasing, where they are seeing outbreaks throughout the country; he said this pandemic is not over.


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