'Darkest days not ahead, we know more about covid': Doctor

Dr. David Katz, specialist in preventive medicine and president of the True Health Initiative, discussed the latest information on the coronavirus with Yahoo Finance.
Video transcript
- Let's bring this discussion to Dr. Bring David Katz. We invite him into the stream. He is a specialist in preventive medicine and president of the True Health Initiative. Thank you for joining us. What worries you most about the revelations of this new variant of COVID-19 or Coronavirus?
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DAVID KATZ: Well, Adam and Julia, nice to be with you. Thank you for the invitation. Well, my concern would be the same as everyone else's. If we end up with a strain of the virus that is better transmitted, more people will get it, more people will spread it. If it's also more virulent, more people get really sick. And if it differs enough from other strains, it could reduce the potential effectiveness of the vaccine. The big worry has sunk to zero.
You asked me what worries me. I don't think these things are true. I think the only thing that's true Adam is that it spreads better. And we can talk about why this is the most likely of the three. The idea that this is more virulent there is no evidence to support it, so not clear that it makes people sicker, and frankly not too likely. And extremely unlikely to be significantly resistant to the vaccines developed.
So that would be the concerns, but I think all we can prove so far is that the B117 strain of SARS-CoV-2 is able to spread better. And inevitably it works that way, doesn't it? I mean viruses are always replicating themselves. The strains that are most likely to infect humans are adopted at the population level. That was inevitable from the start.
- And Dr. Katz, we were talking earlier about some of the comments made by President-Elect Joe Biden about the darkest days that lie ahead of the virus. And would love to hear from you in your expertise, especially what the people are like - I suppose some people travel home for the holidays. I am sure not. My husband is not. We stay seated. But what can - what are you doing - what do you expect to play out here?
DAVID KATZ: Well, first of all, Julia, I have a lot of respect for the President-Elect, so I don't want to say anything that contradicts what Joe Biden says, but of course he's in a position where he wants to significantly influence mass behavior and wants us all to be careful and to take all the precautions available - mask use, social distancing, hygiene, all of those things.
I totally agree, but I really don't think the darkest days are ahead because at the beginning of it all - and of course we had a significant increase in parts of the country last spring - we knew a lot less about the enemy, the virus. We knew less about how to treat it, we knew less about how to treat critically ill patients, we knew less about virus transmission, we knew less about how to do effective testing, and we had absolutely no idea at the time the vaccines would actually be ready.
It was all that talk for 18 months. As it turned out, that timeline was beaten. But that was a hope and it could have been years and we might not have received an effective vaccine.
I think the darkest days were the days of greatest uncertainty. The number of cases in the country is currently very high. Hospitals are full now. Sometimes it's COVID, sometimes it happens at this time of year anyway. So I don't think the darkest days are coming. We know a lot about the virus, we know more about how to treat it, and the vaccines are available so the cavalry is on its way. I think a lot of people are immune ...
- Well, wait, wait, wait ...
DAVID KATZ: --and the vaccines will end this job.
- OK, we want to do the job. In the 20 or so seconds we have left, we're still waiting for Johnson & Johnson. We will receive their results in January. Is it realistic for people under 60 and over 21 years of age to expect - and healthy - to expect to have a vaccine sometime before June?
DAVID KATZ: As far as I can tell. It's hard to know for sure what the production and distribution times will be, but everyone is still guessing, but two approved vaccines are already on the way, the more approved the higher the availability. And I think, especially with the transition to the Biden government, we will see a major campaign to distribute these vaccines to people who will benefit and are ready. So yeah, I think the prospects are pretty good for that, Adam.
- Dr. David Katz, Preventive Medicine Physician and President of the True Health Initiative, we love having you here.

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