Covid deaths could ‘climb even higher in the next couple weeks,’ warns Dr. Ashish Jha

Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, warned about the toll of the pandemic as Covid deaths in the U.S. climb, yet again, to more than 1,000 a day. 

“I think we’re going to see death numbers climb even higher in the next couple weeks, but I’m hoping big outbreak states like Florida, Louisiana — they’re at their peak and they may be coming down,” Jha said on “The News with Shepard Smith.” “Let’s hope so.”

The delta variant has continued to drive a deadly surge that’s overwhelming hospitals and pushing cases to levels the country hasn’t seen since February. The U.S. is averaging roughly 147,000 new infections every day, according to Johns Hopkins. 

Jha told host Shepard Smith that the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine, however, could convince enough people vaccinated to stem the spread of delta.

 “I think it’s going to make a big difference, and look, I think there are some individuals who’ve been waiting for this full approval, and for them I think it will help,” said Jha. “When you look at the unvaccinated, about two-thirds of them say that they would get the vaccine if there was a mandate, so I think you’ll see a lot of those people jump off the fence and start getting vaccinated.” 

On the heels of the FDA’s decision, the Pentagon announced it will mandate Covid shots for all active-duty members of the military. New York City’s public school system, the largest in the nation, announced teachers, custodians, and staff must have at least one dose of the vaccine by late September, a move that impacts about 148,000 city employees.