Public/Global Health

Vaccine scientist predicts US is weeks away from every American knowing ‘seriously ill’ coronavirus patient

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A top vaccinologist warned Thursday that the U.S. was on course to see drastically higher numbers of serious infections from the coronavirus outbreak, pointing to rising death rates around the country.

Peter Jay Hotez, a vaccine specialist and dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College, told MSNBC’s “MTP Daily” that most Americans would know someone seriously ill from coronavirus complications in the next few weeks should numbers not improve.

“In the next few weeks, every single American’s going to know someone who’s seriously ill from COVID-19,” Hotez said. “Because [the rising death rate] is being paralleled by a rise in hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and now the deaths are starting to arrive.”

His warning comes as the U.S. reported 1,413 deaths from the coronavirus outbreak Wednesday, the highest number reported nationwide since mid-May.

Across the U.S., states such as Florida, Texas and Georgia have seen surging rates of the virus as local officials have scrambled to halt plans for reopening nonessential businesses and public spaces.

The Trump administration has indicated that the U.S. will not implement a mask mandate despite surging numbers of new coronavirus infections, which comes in sharp contrast to European nations and others which have seen coronavirus infection rates fall in recent weeks.

“But certainly, a national mandate is not in order. We’re allowing our governors and our local mayors to weigh in on that,” White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said earlier in July.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Mark Meadows Vaccine

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