Story at a glance
- Most states in the U.S. have reported an increase in new cases.
- A former director at the CDC said until the virus is contained communities that have flattened their curve are at risk of seeing increases again.
- The official called the U.S. an outlier “amongst all of our peer countries,” that have contained the virus.
A former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) official says the coronavirus will continue to “hopscotch” around the U.S., as Ohio is experiencing a new spike in cases after flattening its curve in early spring.
“We should expect this disease to continue to hopscotch across the United States because over 90 percent of people are still susceptible,” Ali Khan, former director of the CDC Office of Public Health Preparedness, told CNN’s “New Day“ Thursday.
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“If you don’t get this contained, what happens is the disease just hopscotches to another place. And even places that think they’re doing quite well right now, they’re not,” he said. “Until you get this contained within your community you are at risk of it coming back again and increasing, which is what we’re seeing now.”
“We should expect this disease to continue to hopscotch across the United States, because over 90% of people are still susceptible,” says Dr. Ali Khan, former director of the CDC Office of Public Health Preparedness. https://t.co/2pW16WotCx pic.twitter.com/RIZZUlXQnP
— New Day (@NewDay) July 16, 2020
Khan’s comments come after Southern and Western states for several weeks have been reporting spikes in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. In California, Florida, Arizona and Texas, rising cases have led to a shortage of hospital beds.
The former CDC official called the U.S. an outlier “amongst all of our peer countries,” noting Europe and many other parts of the world have been able to contain the virus. He said China, which was once the epicenter, has seen a 3.2 percent increase in its economy.
In his assessment of the U.S. response to the pandemic, Khan pleaded with Americans to wear masks and to make it a social norm.
“We’re in a state of surrender in America about this disease,” Khan said. “People think we can’t make a difference or it’s the flu, or it’s somebody else’s fault, or don’t worry about it, it’ll be gone, the summer’s coming, the vaccine’s coming — no. The path to this uncertain future is paved in 600 to 1,000 preventable deaths every day, so please wear a mask.”
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