Story at a glance
- Adm. Brett Grioir told CNN that the pandemic will get worse in the U.S. before it gets better.
- This follows promising vaccine news announced by Moderna and Pfizer.
As more states undertake stricter lockdowns amid another wave of coronavirus outbreaks, Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, noted that “this will get worse” before the pandemic finally abates.
"We have had one million cases documented over the past week, our rate of rise is higher than it even was in the summer, we have hospitalizations going up 25% week over week," Giroir told CNN. "There are so many more cases that we have, that deaths are going up."
National data is reporting about a 77 percent change in new cases over the past 14 weeks, with hospitalizations and death rising as well.
On Nov. 18, at least 1,923 new COVID-19 deaths along with 172,391 new cases were reported.
Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with other public health agencies, are advising against large scale gatherings and instead emphasize smaller Thanksgiving dinners with social distancing implemented.
In the meantime, public spaces like restaurants, bars, schools and gyms have been closed down in a bid to reduce virus transmission in crowded spaces.
"As you've heard so many times before, we know how to fix this," Giroir added. "It's all about absolute adherence to wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, and yes, we can keep the economy open but we're going to have to diminish indoor places like indoor dining and restaurants."