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A worldwide disaster may result from China’s next covid nightmare.

China’s “zero covid” policy was unsustainable and abruptly scrapped. The absence of a coherent fallback strategy threatens a fresh set of nightmares. A wave of omicron infections is sweeping Beijing and might soon hit the rest of China. Mathematical models predict 1 million or more deaths early next year. China has grossly underreported deaths due to covid and probably will continue to do so.

One danger is that China’s outbreak will generate new variants that threaten the rest of the world. A potential lifeline is an aerosol vaccine developed by CanSino Biologics.