US Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Monday gave a stark warning about the escalating coronavirus crisis, saying, “I want America to understand — this week, it’s gonna get bad.”
“As the nation’s doctor I’m here to help America understand where we need to respond to this,” Adams told the “Today” show, saying that “every single second counts” in the fight against the pandemic.
“And right now there are not enough people out there who are taking this seriously,” he warned, pointing to people still getting together in parks and on beaches.
“A lot of people think this can’t happen to them,” he said.
“It’s important for people to know: you can get this disease, you can be hospitalized from this disease [and] you can die from this disease. But most importantly you can spread it to your loved ones. So we need you to really lean in,” Adams stressed.
The Surgeon General suggested that the crisis in New York — with New York City its epicenter — highlights the danger of reacting too late.
“When you look at what’s going on in New York … the numbers you see reflect what happened two weeks ago,” he said, complaining that people are “waiting to see spread before they decide to get serious.”
“We don’t want Dallas or New Orleans or Chicago to turn into the next New York,” he said.
“It means everyone needs to be taking the right steps right now. And that means stay at home.”
Adams also gave a “shout out” to Kylie Jenner, praising the 22-year-old “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star for “stepping up” after he called on her to send a PSA to fans who might otherwise not see official warnings.
He denied that the Defense Production Act was needed to speed up the production of urgently needed medical supplies, claiming companies were already “at max production.”
“You don’t need to compel people to do what they’re already doing,” he said. “We’re not going to ventilate our way out of this problem; we’re not going to treat our way out of this problem. The way you stop the spread of an infectious disease like this is with mitigation measures and from preventing people from getting it in the first place.”
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