You could see the urgency in Dr. Jerome Adams’ eyes as he spoke to reporters from HHS headquarters in Washington D.C . The Surgeon General gave a simple warning to the American public about what to expect in the next few days:
This week, it’s going to get bad
As the disease rampages across the nation, Dr. Adams fears many Americans aren’t ready for the impending healthcare catastrophe.
With over 9,000 additional cases confirmed on Monday , the United States has rocketed past Spain and Germany to be the third-most coronavirus-infected country in the world.
This places it just under Italy and the virus’ epicenter in China. The total caseload now stands at just over 46,000, with additional cases being added by the hour.
An additional 111 Americans died of the disease in the last 24 hours, bringing total fatalities to 413.
America’s coronavirus outbreak is still centered in major coastal cities like New York and Seattle. But the virus has also established strongholds in more central areas like Illinois and Michigan.
Dr. Adams believes America’s caseload will increase dramatically in the coming days as areas outside of New York ramp up testing for the disease.
Adams mentions that the current explosion of cases in New York is mainly made up of people who became infected up to two weeks ago.
The doctor urges Americans to say home to prevent cities like Dallas, New Orleans or Chicago from “turning into the next New York.”
We really, really need everyone to stay at home. I think that there are a lot of people who are doing the right things, but … we’re finding out a lot of people think this can’t happen to them.
Health officials are recommending that people keep at least six feet of distance between themselves and others and avoid large crowds. But many fear that too many young people are ignoring these warnings.
California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey have already enacted strict stay-at-home orders. Other states, including Indiana and Michigan, will follow suit in the coming days.
In a bid to strengthen state authorities’ ability to combat the spread of the deadly disease, Trump has activated the National Guard in California, Washington and New York , where they will operate under the command of state governors. This move has led many to believe that the United States could be on the verge of martial law.
John Aravosis had this to say to his 101,000 Twitter followers:
To assuage Americans’ fears, FEMA has set up a web page called “Coronavirus Rumor Control” that states the agency has not deployed any military assets.
Gen. Joseph L. Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, further states that the government will not use the National Guard to enforce shelter-in-place rules.
There is just no truth to this rumor that people are considering, that governors are planning, that anybody is conspiring to use National Guard to do some sort of a military action to enforce, you know, shelter in place and quarantine
With 20,875 confirmed cases , the coronavirus infection density in New York resembles epicenters like Wuhan, China and Milan, Italy at earlier stages in the outbreak.
If U.S. authorities fail to slow the spread of the deadly virus, other cities could witness similar explosions of infections — especially as potentially-infected people from New York disperse all over the country.
Out of the more than 46,000 confirmed coronavirus infections in the United States, 610 have ended in death. This is far lower than the World Health Organization’s estimated case fatality rate of 3.4% and China’s case fatality rate of 2.3%, but it can get worse if the illness overwhelms healthcare systems in the country.