El-Sayed: Americans could see a return to ‘normal’ by summer but that’s ‘not good enough’

(Screenshot, www.facebook.com/themichiganleft)

During an appearance on The Michigan Left with Andrew George last week Dr. Abdul El-Sayed said Americans could see a return to normalcy from the pandemic as early as this summer.

Dr. Anthony Fauci,  director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, recently predicted the United States could have the virus under control as early as Fall 2021. Sayed, an epidemiologist and former Michigan gubernatorial candidate, said Fauci’s assessment was fair but “normal” is too small a bar to hurdle, and shouldn’t be part of the United States’ endgame.

“I think that’s a fair prediction, and I might even say that if things keep moving the way they are, if we’re able to deploy the vaccine at a faster and faster clip, that you could start to imagine some kind of quote on quote ‘normal’ as early as the summer,” Sayed said.

“I do want to say though, that normal is not good enough. The normal before COVID-19 was not a great place for a lot of Americans, and if all we do is get back to normal, and we don’t learn the lessons of this pandemic — whether it has to do with the failure of our healthcare system, whether it has to do with the importance of building out a real public health infrastructure, whether it has to do with making sure every American has access to a living wage, and that we don’t confuse essential and expendable in the future — then we won’t have learned the lessons of this pandemic.”

Sayed added he hopes the Biden administration is “aiming for something better than the ‘normal’ we (took) into this pandemic.”

“[…] Hundreds of thousands of people got thrown off their health insurance every year, where people were going hungry, and where we had record inequity and inequality,” he said. “So my hope is we learn the lessons, and we truly do as Joe Biden would say, ‘Build back better.’ That’s as much a challenge as it is a slogan, and that’s what we’re going to have to hold the administration accountable to.”

The Michigan Left is an online talk show hosted by Three Rivers resident and former St. Joseph County Commission candidate Andrew George. New episodes air on Wednesdays at 11 a.m.

Alek Haak-Frost is executive editor of Watershed Voice.