August 13, 2020 – In Breaking News – CBS News
This fall could be the worst in the history of American public health if people do not heed guidance from health officials to stop the coronavirus, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield warned Wednesday.
Redfield said skyrocketing cases of COVID-19 combined with the annual flu season could create the “worst fall” that “we’ve ever had.”
“I’m asking you to do four simple things: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, and be smart about crowds.
If you do those four things it will bring this outbreak down,” Redfield said in an interview with WebMD.
“But, if we don’t do that… this could be the worst fall from a public health perspective we’ve ever had.”
(CDC director Robert Redfield warned that if people do not follow the coronavirus safety guidelines, the upcoming flu season could make things even worse. Meanwhile, more than 1,500 students and staff from nine districts in seven states are in quarantine after positive cases were reported in schools that had just reopened. Courtesy of CBS Evening News and YouTube. Posted on Aug 13, 2020.)
“I keep telling people, I’m not asking some of America to do it — we all got to do it. This is one of those interventions that’s got to be 95, 96, 97, 98, 99 percent if it’s going to work,” he said.
Redfield stressed that more widespread use of face masks could make a big difference. “The mask really does work. It’s really important,” he said.
The United States, which has become the epicenter of the global coronavirus crisis, has seen over 166,000 COVID-related deaths and over 5 million confirmed cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The disease is expected to be one the leading causes of death in the U.S. by the end of the year, according to Redfield.
“Eventually this virus is going to have its day,” he said.
“It’s either going to infect a majority of the global population, or we’re going to have a biological countermeasure that’s going to be an effective vaccine.”
(Health experts expect the virus to infect more people this fall because of colder temperatures. They say it’s also more important to get a flu shot now than ever. Courtesy of ABC10 and YouTube. Posted on Aug 13, 2020.)
There are currently numerous potential COVID-19 vaccines in development, three of which are already in Phase 3 trials.
Redfield said he’s “cautiously optimistic” that there will be “one or more vaccines” ready to deploy in the U.S. before the first of the year.
He stressed, however, that the annual flu vaccine is also of crucial importance.
“If there’s one thing we all can do — besides the importance of wearing a mask, social distancing, hand washing, and being smart about gatherings… to ultimately prepare ourselves for the fall, is to get the flu vaccine,” he said.
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