The U.S. Testing Czar Just Issued This Warning About COVID's Decline
Admiral Brett Giroir is cautioning the American public about this big concern as COVID cases drop.
In a rare bout of good news amid the pandemic, coronavirus cases are now dropping across most of the U.S. According to data from The New York Times, only nine states have seen an increase in cases over the past two weeks while the remaining states' cases are either plateauing or declining. While this is, of course, encouraging news, Admiral Brett Giroir, MD, the country's COVID testing czar, is warning Americans against getting complacent and celebrating prematurely.
New COVID cases are down 22 percent since their peak in July, Giroir said in a recent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services telebriefing, according to CNN. He noted that though "trends are going in the right direction," he fears this positive news will lead people to get lax about precautions, which could result in another spike in cases.
Giroir cited the complacency of some Americans that happened as bars reopened and summer barbecues began in late May, which led to many of the outbreaks in the Sun Belt States in June. "This thing could turn around very quickly if we're not careful," he warned. "We saw that early on after Memorial Day, and the couple weeks afterward that sort of started the current outbreak."
He added: "It takes many weeks to get control over this once you institute measures."
To maintain a low number of new COVID cases, Giror urges people to adhere to a few safety precautions to continue to "yield good results," including wearing a face covering, social distancing, and maintaining good hand hygiene.
"We have very good data—theoretical and real data—that the plans that we're implementing are working, and will continue to work—and will continue to work just about equivalently to a shutdown," Giroir said.
Similarly, during an Aug. 18 interview with Bloomberg's QuickTake, Anthony Fauci, MD, said he doesn't think states need to lock down again if citizens are doing their part. Instead, he champions the five key safety precautions he's been touting for months: wearing a mask, following social distancing practices, avoiding indoor gatherings, keeping away from crowds, and washing your hands. And for more on this, check out Dr. Fauci Says These States Don't Need to Lock Down Again.