Dr. Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the recent surge in coronavirus cases in parts of the country is the result of the spread of the virus and non-intensified testing, as President Donald Trump has argued.
“As a doctor, scientist, epidemiologist, I can tell you with 100% certainty that most of the countries where you see an increase are real increases,” Frieden told Fox News Sunday.
He added: “There are no further tests. There is more spread of the virus. … the numbers you see are just a tip of the more common iceberg. “
Trump said last week that he urged officials to slow down the tests to avoid the high number of confirmed infections. (White House officials claimed he was kidding, but the president told reporters days later that he was not a “child.”
“To be honest, if you do more testing, you’ll find more cases,” the president told CBN News on Monday. “And then they report that our cases go through the roof.”
According to Johns Hopkins University, there were more than 125,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. on Sunday and over 2.5 million confirmed cases of the virus nationwide.
On Friday, the United States reported more than 45,000 new cases – a record for the country’s largest single-day total. Hospitalization has increased dramatically in several states, including Arizona, Florida, Texas and South Carolina.
Peace, which headed the CDC from June 2009 to January 2017, suggested on Sunday that these states would reopen early in the pandemic.
“If you open up while the cases are still increasing, as many states have done, it’s like leaning in a left hook: you’ll be hit hard,” said Frieden.
He estimated that another 15,000 people in the US would die from COVID-19 next month.
Vice President Mike Pence, whom Trump appointed to head the White House Coronavirus Task Force in February, said earlier this week that the death toll in the U.S. could exceed 240,000.
Meanwhile, Alex Azar, the secretary for health and human services, warned on Sunday that the wave of new infections was a “very serious situation”.
“I encourage your listeners, if you have COVID, to call your blood bank, the American Red Cross, and ask for plasma to increase our supply,” Azar said in an interview about CNN’s State of the Union. “So we have the tools for it. We have only been doing this in North Carolina for the past few weeks, but the window is closing.” We have to act, and people as individuals have to act responsibly. “
Most new infections in the southern states had occurred in people under the age of 35 who may be asymptomatic and not as seriously at risk, Azar added.
However, peace on Sunday warned against comforting too much, as some states are mostly young people who test positive.
“What starts with the boys doesn’t stay with the boys,” he said. “Younger people have parents, uncles. … we will see an increasing spread. That is why the three Ws are so important: wear a mask, wash your hands or use a disinfectant and watch your distance. “
Last June, Peace pleaded guilty to behaving improperly in a sexual harassment case. A 55-year-old woman claimed that he grabbed her butt in his apartment in 2017 without her consent. As part of his request, charges of violent touch, sexual abuse and harassment against him were dropped.
Watch the full Peace Interview on Fox News Sunday.
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