'it's over' | 

Professor Luke O’Neill says ‘global nightmare’ of Covid-19 pandemic is over

‘You probably thought it was over already, did you?’

Professor Luke O'Neill

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Professor Luke O’Neill has declared the Covid-19 pandemic officially over.

The Trinity College immunologist who became one of the reliable voices over the course of the three years since coronavirus first broke out said the “global nightmare” was at an end.

On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, Professor O’Neill welcomed an announcement by renowned scientist Eric Topol that the world has “finally entered an endemic phase”.

The scientist and author said in his latest blog post, that the current XBB.1.5 variant of the virus is dominant throughout much of the world, with no new variants showing any growth advantage over it.

This meant the pandemic “is over” Professor Neill said.

“You probably thought it was over already, did you?

“A very famous scientist Eric Topol, who is a real-world expert, announced the pandemic’s over – which is a great statement.

“What it means is, it is still here of course but it is endemic. Which means there will be the occasional outbreak here and there but not the global nightmare we have been through.

“So now it is endemic and that’s a great thing to announce.”

He said many scientists already felt the pandemic was over.

“We knew anyway that was the case,” he said. “In the old days, say with the 1918 pandemic, it’s over when you say it’s over.

“But all the evidence is the immune system has worked, we’ve all got our defences against this – most of us anyway – and now all you’ll see is the odd outbreak here and there.”

Explaining Professor Topol’s thinking, Professor O’Neill added: “He has realised that the latest variant is the dominant one,” he said.

“There haven’t been any new ones since and the one that is there isn’t any way nastier than the previous one.

“That will be the future in a sense. Now it is just another virus in effect.

“Now that is not to downplay the seriousness of it; some will still get infected and get very sick with it, just like the flu – so we have to keep an eye on it medically.

“But the pandemic can be deemed over.”

Professor O’Neill described the FBI’s recent announcement that it believes the virus most likely originated in a Chinese government-controlled lab as “political”.

FBI Director Christopher Wray last week told Fox News that, “the FBI has for quite some time now, assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident.”

It is the first public confirmation of the FBI’s classified stance; however, many scientists have warned that there is no public evidence to back it up and several other US Government agencies have come to different conclusions.

“I don’t get it,” said Professor O’Neill. “Have they got the evidence? Then let’s see it.

“There’s a chance of that - of course there is - that it broke out in a lab.

“Now it is not manmade, remember – there is no evidence it was engineered, that’s for definite.

“But it could have been a spill in a lab or in the wild – they are still both options.

“Why they can be declaring it was in a lab I don’t know. Unless they know things we don’t and they have evidence for that.

“I just suspect it’s political.”

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