WASHINGTON – Surgeon General Vivek Murthy announced Friday that he and his young family have COVID-19 despite their best efforts to avoid infection by being vaccinated and taking other precautions.
The American doctor wrote on Twitter, “Once you have been as safe as you can, it can be frustrating and disappointing to get COVID-19. I have felt that. It can also be a source of shame. Many people assume that you must “We have been careless to get sick. Our safety measures reduce the risk, but they can not eliminate the risk. Nothing can.”
As new cases and hospitalizations plummet, and deaths have finally begun to decline, the Murthy family’s struggle with COVID draws attention to the real risks of a virus that many people assume is finally on the way out.
Murthy, a regular participant in White House briefings COVID task force, said he and his wife, doctor and political activist Dr. Alice Chen, has mild symptoms. She has headaches and fatigue and he said he was dealing with muscle aches, chills and sore throat.
“Our breathing is thankfully fine,” he wrote.
Murthy, his wife and their 5-year-old son have been vaccinated and boosted. Their 4-year-old daughter is too young to be eligible for vaccination.
The children are doing well, Murthy wrote.
His daughter, “who tested positive first, is fine,” he said. “Fever is starting to get better. She is still overwhelmed and is now hoarse from all the coughing, but luckily she is still smiling and enjoying her arts and crafts.”
“Our son has a runny nose and low fever, but otherwise eats, drinks, plays with his sister and watches his favorite cartoons,” Murthy added.
“It’s been chaotic at home with all of us sick, but I would not want to navigate this with anyone but Alice,” he said.
Murthy was not present at Wednesday’s COVID briefing in the White House. The White House said Murthy had not had any recent contact with President Joe Biden and that COVID was not the reason for Murthy’s absence from the briefing.
As a general surgeon, Murthy called early on for COVID misinformation and misinformation, urging Americans to follow tested public health guidelines and get vaccinated and boosted.
That he and his family became ill illustrates the ruthless efficacy of the omicron variant, which has a number of mutations that increase its ability to evade vaccines. However, government officials say data clearly shows that the fully vaccinated retain significant protection against serious illness and hospitalization, and for those who get their booster shots, the resistance to getting sick is even greater.
Although unvaccinated people are still far more likely to get sick, be hospitalized or die, the omicron wave has also seen many vaccinated people become infected. It has disrupted family and work routines and increased the burden on overcrowded hospitals.
Murthy said his confidence in vaccines remains unshaken.
“An important source of peace of mind for us: we and our son have grown / strengthened,” he wrote. “Vaccines are very effective in saving our lives and keeping us out of the hospital. As parents, I can not tell you how reassuring it is to know that we will be able to take care of our children even if we become infected. . “
Murthy served on Biden’s transition team as co-chair of the coronavirus advisory board and is said to enjoy a close personal relationship with the president. His trademark is a soft, empathetic way of speaking in public. Even before the pandemic, he warned of the strain of loneliness in America.
Murthy’s family roots are in India, but as a young man he lived in Miami. His father had a medical clinic where both parents worked. The son spent weekends helping and says it was here he discovered the art of healing.
On Friday, Murthy sought to comfort those who have tried to protect themselves and are still ill.
“If you’ve done everything you can and still got COVID-19, then do not beat yourself up,” he wrote. “Many of us do the best we can. And let’s not assume that those who get sick are careless. We do not know people’s relationships. They may not be able to protect themselves as we can.”