One of the doctors I follow on Twitter, and who I used to see on the news often, (I stopped watching regularly after January 20) is Dr. Jonathan Reiner. He’s a professor of Medicine and Surgery at The George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences and a CNN Medical Analyst.
Last week, he tweeted “Just to be clear I said it was our patriotic duty to wear a mask for the first year of this nightmare. It’s also our patriotic duty to get vaccinated. Once you’re vaccinated there’s very little risk to you or others if you’re not wearing a mask. #VaccinesWork”
He was referring to a segment he did on CNN. According to Oliver Darcy, “CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner continued on Sunday to skewer the Biden admin for not going far enough in relaxing Covid restrictions. Reiner contended that the CDC and WH ‘are behind the curve on this’ and pointed out that the vaccines work. And on ‘Inside Politics Sunday with Abby Phillip,’ Reiner argued, ‘Your patriotic duty now is really no longer to wear a mask if you, if you’ve already done your patriotic duty which is to get vaccinated.’ The idea behind this? To show others that the vaccines do work and incentivize people to get them…”
That’s obviously great news but I’ve still been worried about bringing fully vaccinated people into our house because of our two little ones. So I replied to Dr. Reiner (he follows me on Twitter) with: “@JReinerMD Good to know! Question: My dad’s 92 and fully vaccinated (though his med minder helper is not). Do you think it’s safe to bring him into our home for a week since we have two little ones (4.5 yrs & 21 months). My wife and I are both fully vaxxed too.”
He kindly responded right away with “@JohnnyJet The CDC would say yes it’s safe and I agree.”
I then responded: “@JReinerMD GREAT to hear. Thank you! I will fly to Florida from LAX this week to get him.”
So it looks like after 446 days, I will finally see my dad in person on a surprise visit and if he’s in good shape, I will escort him out to California so he can finally hug two of his grandkids.
In related news, another doctor I follow is Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA chief and a frequent guest on CBS Morning News. Yesterday, he called for easing restrictions on indoor gatherings as COVID-19 cases drop. “We’re at the point right now where we could start lifting these ordinances and allowing people to resume normal activity,” Gottlieb said. “Certainly outdoors, we shouldn’t be putting limits on gatherings anymore. We should be encouraging people to go outside. In the states where prevalence is low, vaccination rates are high, and we have good testing in place and we’re identifying infections, I think we could start lifting these restrictions indoors as well on a broad basis.”
That’s great news but one question I can’t seem to get answered is: How about traveling on a plane with a 21-month old who doesn’t have to wear a mask, and probably won’t. Is air travel safe for toddlers? And what about the new variants of concern? Are the vaccines effective against them?
I would love to know because this is what’s holding my wife and I back from long-distance family travel.
I tweeted Dr. Scott to ask. He hasn’t replied but if he does, I will be sure to update this post.