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Public health officials warn of grim days ahead: ‘This next week is going to look bad’

Public health officials and governors warned on Sunday that data about coronavirus cases and deaths in the week ahead is likely to paint a grim picture, echoing President Trump’s Saturday projections of a “lot of death” in coming days.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams, appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” told Chris Wallace the week would be “the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives.”

“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized; it’s going to be happening all over the country,” Adams said.

{mosads}“There is hope, but we’ve also got to all do our part,” he added, saying that if mitigation recommendations such as social distancing and remaining indoors except for absolutely essential activities were followed, “there is a light at the end of the tunnel if everyone does their part for the next 30 days.”

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Adams also addressed eight governors who have yet to issue stay-at-home orders to stem the spread of the virus in Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming.

“Ninety percent of Americans are doing their part, even in the states where they haven’t had a shelter-in-place. But If you can’t give us 30 days, governors, give us a week, give us what you can so that we don’t overwhelm our health care systems over this next week, and then let’s reassess,” Adams said Sunday, although he stopped shy of calling for a national stay-at-home order.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, meanwhile, said that while mitigation efforts were working as intended, “it would be a false statement” to say the pandemic was under control.

“We are struggling to get it under control, and that’s the issue that’s at hand right now,” Fauci said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday.

President Trump claimed as recently in mid-March that the virus was “under control” in the U.S., although in his most recent press briefing, he said “there will be a lot of death” in the days ahead, adding “this will be probably the toughest week.”

“This next week is going to look bad because we’re still not at that apex,” Fauci said of New York, one of the hardest-hit areas, on Sunday. “Within a week, eight, nine days or so we’re hopefully going to see that turning around.”

Lousiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), meanwhile, warned that the state will likely reach ventilator capacity in the week ahead, telling CNN’s “State of the Union” current estimates indicate capacity will be reached April 9. “This is a tough emergency, and it is not different here than elsewhere,” he said.

Louisiana has seen its total coronavirus cases grow rapidly, reaching almost 12,500 cases and over 400 deaths as of Saturday and New Orleans potentially emerging as one of the next hot spots.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said parts of the southwest could be particularly hard-hit in the next week.

“Mitigation’s clearly working, we’re seeing cases slow in the northeast and the northern states,” Gottlieb said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” but “the Sun Belt is going to be in for a tough week, we’re going to see cases in the Sun Belt start to accelerate.”

“What we also need is a drug that can be used either as a preventative tool, a prophylaxis, or treatment for people who have a bad outcome,” Gottlieb said, telling CBS’ Margaret Brennan that a few drugs currently in development showed promise and “we need to place significant bets on each of those drugs and try to pull them through more quickly.”

Tags Anthony Fauci Chris Wallace Coronavirus Donald Trump
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