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  • “The reality is December and January and February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult in the public health history of this nation, largely because of the stress that’s going to be put on our health-care system,” Redfield said Wednesday.
  • A record 98,691 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the U.S. as of Wednesday and nearly 160,000 new cases are being reported each day.
  • Redfield said the death toll could hit 450,000 before February, but Americans can reduce that if they embrace mitigation strategies such as wearing masks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield on Wednesday issued a stark warning as the U.S. is experiencing an alarming and unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. 

“We are at a very critical time right now about being able to maintain the resilience of our health care system,” Redfield said while speaking at an event hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


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“The reality is December and January and February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult in the public health history of this nation, largely because of the stress that’s going to be put on our health care system,” he said. 

Redfield noted that coronavirus deaths are beginning to rise after weeks of hospitalization increases. The U.S. is currently averaging more than 1,500 deaths everyday. On Tuesday, more than 2,400 deaths were reported nationwide over 24 hours.

A record 98,691 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the U.S. as of Wednesday and nearly 160,000 new cases are being reported each day, according to The Covid Tracking Project.  

“I do think unfortunately, before we see February, we could be close to 450,000 Americans [who] have died from this virus,” he said. 

The public health official said the death toll could be reduced, however, if the public embraced mitigation strategies such as wearing masks and avoiding crowded indoor spaces. He said the time for debating whether masks work is over as “we clearly have scientific evidence.” 

“The truth is that mitigation works. But it’s not going to work if half of us do what we need to do. Probably not even if three-quarters do,” Redfield said. 

Redfield’s comments come as the U.S. has reported more than 272,000 deaths over the course of the pandemic, significantly more than any other nation in the world.


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Published on Dec 02, 2020