Former CDC head: ‘I don’t think you can be too alarmist about what this virus can do’
Former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Thomas Frieden said Sunday that he did not think it is possible to be “too alarmist about what [coronavirus] can do.”
Fox News’s Chris Wallace asked Frieden whether lack of exponential growth in cases since Georgia indicated the public health response to the pandemic had been “alarmist.”
“I don’t think you can be too alarmist about what this virus can do … look at New York City over the past two months,” Frieden responded on “Fox News Sunday.”
“When it begins to spread again, you won’t see that for a few weeks,” he added. “Once there is resumption of spread, you won’t see that for a month or two.”
Frieden added that different parts of the country are in different places regarding the impact of the virus, saying that the New York area was reaching “the end of the beginning,” whereas “in some other places of the country, it hasn’t yet hit in full force.”
“Unfortunately, we’re likely to see multiple waves in different parts of the country,” he said.
Reaching a point where Americans can safely venture out without the risk of widespread transmission is also vital to the country’s economic health, Frieden added, saying “it’s not just the lockdowns that are keeping us at home, it’s the virus.”
“If people aren’t feeling safe going out, they’re not going to dine, to eat … that’s why it’s so important that to get our economy back, we start safe,” he added.
Also asked about President Trump’s pronouncement that the virus could simply disappear without a vaccine, Frieden said: “It’s unlikely that the virus would simply disappear … that’s unusual based on what we’ve seen in 200 countries around the world,” although he noted some inconclusive evidence suggesting it may abate somewhat in warmer weather.
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