Delta Chief Health Officer: Covid-19 Near End of Pandemic Stage

The travel industry is "entering the end of the [Covid-19] pandemic," Delta Air Lines chief health officer Henry Ting said at the Global Business Travel Association 2021 Convention on Wednesday.

"We're coming down from the surge and entering an endemic stage," said Ting, a former Mayo Clinic executive who joined Delta earlier this year. "It will persist at low but functional levels. There may be outbreaks, and we will see this become a seasonal respiratory virus."

Ting based his prediction on high levels of "some form of immunity," up to 95 percent of the population when considering vaccines and prior infections, and new treatments such as antivirals that significantly lower the risk of severe illness and hospitalization. He said he also expected the pandemic will change the approach to public health threats, much like Sept. 11 changed the approach to national security threats.