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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Only days before he retires from the Kansas City Health Department as its director, Dr. Rex Archer sat down to talk about public health and the COVID-19 pandemic with FOX4’s John Holt and The Kansas City Star’s Dave Helling.

Following a start to the year marked by increased vaccinations and falling COVID cases, the Delta variant’s spread has fueled concerns and led to a sharp spike in cases, Dr. Archer telling Holt and Helling that what we’re experiencing now is twice as bad as 2020. He explains in the video why the risk is more substantial this year for unvaccinated people than it was at this time last year.

Dr. Archer also answered questions about whether another lockdown would be needed, in part saying that any actions taken must have the economy and the public health ramifications for unemployment in mind.

The panel also discusses the roots of vaccine hesitancy from his perspective and how to build more trust between health officials and the public, what he would have done differently in 2020, and his biggest regret from a public health planning perspective.

FOX4 and The Kansas City Star are partnering to bring you 4Star Politics, a special digital venture with new episodes released Wednesdays at 5 p.m.