Michigan’s Latest COVID-19 ‘Surge’ Is Different, El-Sayed Says: ‘It’s Not 2020 Anymore’

As Michigan’s number of new COVID-19 cases lead the nation, Abdul El-Sayed assures individuals that the risks of the pandemic are lower thanks to vaccinations.

Michigan now leads the country in the emergence of new COVID-19 cases, which has many concerned as Michiganders begin to gather for the holidays. Dr. Abdul El-Sayed says new cases may be rising, but the threat of COVID-19 is much less sinister than it was before for vaccinated people.

“COVID is not the only risk. We take risks all the time. And because of the vaccine, they’re exceedingly low.” –Abdul El-Sayed 

Listen: Dr. Abdul El-Sayed says the risks of COVID-19 are very different than they used to be.


Dr. Abdul El-Sayed is a public health doctor, political activist and the former director of the Detroit Health Department. He recently wrote an article titled, “We need a new way to measure COVID: Case counts are climbing again, but that doesn’t mean that we’re moving backward.” He says even with Michigan’s surge of new cases, the risk profile of COVID-19 is very different than it was last year. “COVID is not the only risk. We take risks all the time. And because of the vaccine, they’re exceedingly low.” However, El-Sayed still advises caution when gathering for Thanksgiving amid possible breakthrough cases. “The risks are real, I don’t want anyone to hear this conversation and say ‘Abdul says the pandemic is over.’ It’s not.”

El-Sayed says the COVID-19 pandemic is now a mix of two separate pandemics; one of the vaccinated, and the far more severe one of the unvaccinated. “I want folks to remember that getting that vaccine is the main thing … The experience of COVID now is becoming so fundamentally unequal.” He says getting vaccinated is the most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones when gathering during the holidays. “You don’t want this Thanksgiving to be the reason somebody doesn’t join you next Thanksgiving.”

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