Story at a glance
- U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Tuesday he feels more optimistic because he’s seeing mitigation work.
- He urged Americans to continue to stay home and avoid large groups through the month.
- He said he wants Americans to know “there is a light at the end of this tunnel."
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Tuesday coronavirus deaths in the nation could fall under the range of 100,000-240,000 that has been estimated by the White House.
“That’s absolutely my expectation, and I feel a lot more optimistic, again, because I’m seeing mitigation work,” Adams said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “It’s going to be a hard and a tough week, but the American people have the power to change the trajectory of this epidemic if we come together like we have after past tragedies in this country.”
He said the most important thing is for Americans to focus on staying home for the rest of the month and not gathering in large groups, adding “if we keep doing the right thing” we can start to slowly reopen in some places.
Adams referenced social distancing efforts in Washington state and California, saying their public health officials should be applauded because they’ve “given us the blueprint for how we should deal with this in the rest of the country.”
The surgeon general also referenced data from Italy and Spain, two countries with earlier outbreaks, and New York and New Jersey, two states that have been hit hard by the outbreak.
“The good news is that when you look at Italy, when you look at Spain, when you look at Washington and California and even New York and New Jersey, they have truly started to flatten their curves,” Adams said.
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The surgeon general’s comments come after White House coronavirus task force members warned that up to 200,000 people in the U.S. could die from the outbreak, even if “we do things almost perfectly,” in terms of social distancing measures.
Adams warned Sunday that the week ahead would be the “hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives,” calling it a Pearl Harbor or 9/11 moment.
More than 368,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S. with nearly 11,000 deaths.
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