Cockburn, like every other American, finally thought we’d seen Covid's last hurrah. But right on cue, in the dreaded month of January, the Wu-flu is resurgent.

Public-health experts have begun sounding the alarm about a new Omicron variant dubbed XBB that is rapidly spreading across the Northeastern United States.

It's not yet clear if XBB is any more lethal than other variants, but its mutations can make any prior vaccine useless. Growing evidence also suggests that repeated vaccinations may make people more susceptible to XBB and could be fueling the virus’s rapid evolution.

“It might not be a...

Cockburn, like every other American, finally thought we’d seen Covid’s last hurrah. But right on cue, in the dreaded month of January, the Wu-flu is resurgent.

Public-health experts have begun sounding the alarm about a new Omicron variant dubbed XBB that is rapidly spreading across the Northeastern United States.

It’s not yet clear if XBB is any more lethal than other variants, but its mutations can make any prior vaccine useless. Growing evidence also suggests that repeated vaccinations may make people more susceptible to XBB and could be fueling the virus’s rapid evolution.

“It might not be a coincidence that XBB surged this fall in Singapore, which has among the highest vaccination and booster rates in the world,” writes the Wall Street Journal. “Over the past several weeks a XBB strain has become predominant in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, making up about three-quarters of virus samples that have been genetically sequenced.

“The variant has been slower to take off in other regions, making up only 6 percent of the Midwest and about 20 percent in the South. The Northeast is also the most vaccinated and boosted region in the country.”

Regardless of the science, President Joe Biden has sprung into action and taken advice from the one and only Anthony Fauci, the outgoing chief medical advisor to the president who left his post at the end of last year. Biden has implemented travel restrictions that began Monday, stopping anyone entering the US from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.

The president has also called for mandatory Covid-19 tests on travelers from China beginning on January 5. All air passengers aged two and older will need a negative result from a test taken within forty-eight hours of departure from China, Hong Kong or Macau. China has branded the restrictions from America and other Western nations as “political” and not “science-based.” Naturally: they’re Covid rules, haven’t you been paying attention?

Despite the WSJ report, Biden urged fully vaccinated Americans to get booster shots and the unvaccinated to get the “life-saving protection.” Biden also addressed the global community in his statement, saying the new variant shows the pandemic won’t end until vaccines are readily available around the world. God help us.