Not enough people are taking seriously frequent recommendations to practice social distancing, he said.
US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, warned Monday during an interview with NBC’s Today show that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is getting worse in the United States.1
“I want America to understand. This week, it’s going to get bad. We really need to come together as a nation,” he told Today anchor Savannah Guthrie.1
Citing news reports and videos, Adams said that many Americans are still visiting public spaces, including beaches and Washington, DC’s famous cherry blossoms, in large numbers.
Not enough people are taking seriously frequent recommendations to practice social distancing, he said.1
“This is how the spread is occurring. We really, really need people to stay at home,” the surgeon general said.1
“There are a lot of people who are doing the right things, but I think that, unfortunately, we’re finding out a lot of people think this can’t happen to them,” Adams said.
On Monday, the CDC reported 33,404 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the country, and 400 deaths. All 50 states and Washington, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands had reported cases. New York State has been the hardest hit with 15,168 cases reported to the CDC by Monday afternoon. In addition, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey and Washington State each had more than 1000 cases each.2
The spread in these states most affected should serve as a warning to other regions of the country, Adams said.1
“We don’t want Dallas or New Orleans or Chicago to become the next New York. It means everyone needs to take the right steps right now, and that means stay at home.” Adams said.1
“People are still reacting and waiting to see spread before deciding to get serious,” he said.
The surgeon general told Guthrie that Americans need to take more seriously the “15 Days to Slow the Spread” initiative announced by President Trump on March 16, 2020.1 The initiative’s directives include:3
Adams said those directives are mitigation measures designed to prevent the spread of the virus.
The directives work best the earlier they are practiced, he said.1
“There are not enough people taking it seriously,” Adams said.1 “Everyone needs to act as if they have the virus right now. Stay. At. Home.”