(CNN) — The United States faces another cycle of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it may be the most difficult yet, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Dr. Scott said Monday. Gottlieb.
“I think we are now on the cusp of what will be an exponential expansion in some parts of the country,” Gottlieb said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
“If we take aggressive measures at this time, we could anticipate the worst, but we will not,” because there is a lot of fatigue and “political resistance to taking strong measures,” he said.
“We really have two or three months to get through the acute phase of this pandemic,” he said. “This will be the most difficult phase, probably.”
The spread of the new coronavirus has worsened in the United States.
The country continues to report the largest number of cases we have seen to date. The seven-day average of new cases per day hit an all-time high of 68,767 on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The previous record of 67,293 was set on July 22.
“Unfortunately, I think the ‘new record’ statement will be repeated over and over again in the coming days and weeks,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University.
I hope those numbers continue to increase. Hospitalizations will continue to increase. ‘
The abysmal week was marked by the worst two days of new daily cases reported since the pandemic began. More than 83,000 new cases were reported on both Friday and Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins.
To be clear: This increase reflects a flood of new infections, not just an increase in testing, contrary to what skeptics claim.
Do you know why we have cases? Because we do a lot of testing, “said President Donald Trump at a rally on Saturday in North Carolina. And in many ways, it is good. And in many ways, it is nonsense.
But the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases soared 23% last week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The seven-day average of new tests performed has risen just 2.87% over the past week, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
And we have moved past the point where urban and densely populated areas are the only places affected. The rate of test positivity in South Dakota is 23%the state Department of Health said Monday. That means that out of 100 people tested, 23 have been infected. In May, the World Health Organization advised governments not to reopen until test positivity rates were 5% or less for at least 14 days.
States will receive 36.7 million rapid screening tests
The federal government is sending 36.7 million rapid tests to detect COVID-19, and states should receive them by the end of the week, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS, for its acronym) told CNN on Monday. in English).
The tests are intended to help states with the reopening, according to an HHS press release.
“To protect seniors and facilitate the continued reopening of schools, businesses and the economy, the Trump administration prioritized expanding our state and national testing capacity at points of care,” said Admiral Dr. Brett Giroir , deputy secretary of the Department of Health in a press release on Sunday.
Last month, President Donald Trump announced a plan to send 150 million BinaxNOW tests of covid-19 nationwide. HHS confirmed Monday that this week’s shipments are part of that total.
“Combining personal responsibility with smart, targeted testing is a proven formula for preventing outbreaks, but we cannot ‘test our way’ out of this pandemic,” said Giroir. “Public vigilance is required to adhere to precautionary measures, especially as we clearly see the onset of mitigation fatigue.”
What happens when hospitals are overwhelmed?
Some hospitals are starting to become overcrowded due to the new increase in covid-19 cases. And that’s bad news for everyone, not just those with coronavirus.
“We have seen what happened before in this pandemic, when hospitals are overwhelmed and patients end up without care, not only coronavirus patients, but also patients with heart attacks and strokes and who had car accidents,” said the doctor of emergencies, Dr. Leana Wen.
In Utah, for example, hospitals could be days away from using a patient’s age, health and other factors to decide who can and cannot stay in crowded intensive care units.
“That could be happening across the country as our hospitals get overwhelmed,” Wen said. “And unlike last time, where only certain parts of the country were experiencing this, now we have virus hot spots that are happening everywhere.”
As of Monday, at least 37 states had a growing number of new COVID-19 cases last week compared to the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Thirteen states were roughly stable, and no state had COVID-19 declines of at least 10%.
More than 8.6 million people have been infected with coronavirus in the United States and more than 225,000 have died from covid-19.
We have “a small window of opportunity right now” to curb the coronavirus
Yes, the dreaded fall wave is spreading across the country. But if we act quickly, we can prevent it from turning into a catastrophic winter surge, doctors say.
This is inevitable. In fact, we have a small window of opportunity right now to stop the explosive spread that is coming, “Wen said Monday.
But we have this window to act now. That includes things like national mask use mandates, which includes other specific policies. This is not all or nothing, “he said.
“President Trump tends to frame this as if we shut down completely or literally do nothing. In reality, there are many things we can do that will save lives and keep our economy going. We should implement those policies now.
In Illinois, “there seems to be a covid storm on the rise, and we have to be prepared,” warned Governor JB Pritzker on Monday, announcing some restrictions starting Wednesday for some regions of the state.
In Idaho, Governor Brad Little announced Monday that he is returning the state to a more restrictive phase.
And in Kentucky, a health official expressed concern about a third escalation of the virus that is starting at a higher level of infections than the first two.
“Now there is much more risk. It’s like popcorn is popping in the microwave at full blast, and if we go ahead from this point, we’re going to get into trouble real fast, ”said Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Public Health, in a press conference on Monday.
A national mask-wearing mandate could help keep businesses open
A growing number of officials from all parties are calling for a nationwide mask-wearing mandate.
Gottlieb, former Trump-appointed FDA Director, wrote an article for opinion for The Wall Street Journal titled “Winter is Coming: Time for a Mask Mandate.”
“A term can be expressly limited to the next two months,” Gottlieb wrote, adding that it is easier to wear a mask in winter than in summer.
“The drawback would allow the country to preserve health care capacity and keep more schools and businesses open.”
Andy Slavitt, former acting chief of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, agreed with Gottlieb on a mask-wearing mandate.
Scott Gottlieb is a Republican. This is not a partisan issue, “said Slavitt, who served in the Obama administration.
“This is a public health problem for everyone and it will slow the spread of the disease.”
If 95% of Americans wore masks in public, more than 100,000 lives could be saved in the United States through February, according to data released Friday by the University of Washington Institute for Health Assessment and Metrics.
“If people don’t wear masks, then maybe we should enforce them,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Gottlieb wrote that mask-wearing mandates have become divisive only because of the way some politicians and political commentators have framed the issue.
“States should be able to choose how to enforce a mandate,” he wrote, “but the goal should be to make masks a social and cultural norm, not a political statement.”
– CNN’s Amanda Watts, Jacqueline Howard, Artemis Moshtaghian, Ganesh Setty, Alec Snyder, Naomi Thomas, and Kay Jones contributed to this report.
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