The Coronavirus outbreak intensified overnight in the United States as the numbers of death have surged to 31, with over 1000 persons said to be infected by the virus.
Testifying before Congress on Wednesday, the Head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Anthony Fauci, who is a key member of the White House taskforce formed to tackle the US response the outbreak, said: “The bottom line is it’s going to get worse.”
Fauci urged a more aggressive approach to limit the spread of the virus
“Even in areas of the country where there are no or few cases, we’ve got to change our behavior. We have to essentially assume that we are going to get hit. And that’s why we talk about making mitigation and containment in a much more vigorous way.”
Fauci said it was impossible to make projections on how far the virus would spread in the US as too much depended on what steps were taken to mitigate it, but he added: “If we are complacent and don’t do really aggressive containment and mitigation, the number could go way up and be involved in many, many millions.”
NBC reported that the official doctor serving both Congress and the Supreme Court, Brian Monahan, had told Senate staff on Tuesday that he expected between 70 million and 150 million people in the US to contract coronavirus.
The Trump administration said it planned to urge US states and localities to take stronger steps to fight the coronavirus, with new information from the federal public health agency the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“You’re going to hear from CDC today and the White House that we’re going to be making recommendations to those local communities about aggressive steps that we think they should be taking,” the health secretary, Alex Azar, told Fox News.
Azar added that federal leaders were working with local officials in the hardest-hit states so far, including Washington state, California, New York, Massachusetts and Florida, as they grappled with the virus, saying “strong mitigation steps” could help buy valuable time to control the virus.