Amid omicron woes, U.S. surgeon general notes ‘tremendous progress’ against pandemic

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  • Vivek Murthy
    American surgeon

As the pandemic puts a damper on the holiday season, there’s still reason for hope, the nation’s surgeon general said on Sunday.

Despite pockets of criticism that authorities focused on vaccination to the neglect of COVID testing in recent months, Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy emphasized that the jabs have saved lives.

“We’ve lost so many people and our lives have been changed fundamentally,” Murthy told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But those struggles shouldn’t obscure one critical thing, which is that we have made tremendous progress in this last two years, as well.

“We have saved more than a million lives because of vaccination efforts this past year alone,” he said, adding: “I know it may not always feel like the progress is enough.”

“But we’ve also gotten tools and developed tools to learn to live our lives, to gather with family and friends,” he said, “and those include not just the vaccines and the boosters, but testing, using masks judiciously and using better ventilation and gathering in better ventilated spaces.”

Murthy also shared some advice for parents.

“There is a terrible stigma around mental health that surrounds our children and older adults as well,” he said. “One of the most powerful things that parents can do is to start a conversation with their children about mental health, to let them know it’s okay if you struggle.”

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