- Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Wednesday the 15 days recommended by Trump likely is not enough
- In order to avoid the US becoming Italy – which now has 31,000 cases – he said people must act now
- He is urging Americans to stay at home where they can and to practice social distancing to flatten the curve
- As of Wednesday morning, there were more than 6,000 cases of coronvirus in the US and 115 had died
- Adams said the situation would be ‘reassessed’ in 15 days time and that it was possible to make a difference
- Trump, meanwhile, referred to the virus on Wednesday again as the ‘Chinese Virus’ – a phrase which is enraging world dignitaries
- The economy has been plunged into a recession with tens of thousands of people already losing work
- Trump has announced a stimulus plan which includes a $1k a month check for Americans – but some experts say far more is needed
- There is now an urgent need for ventilators, surgical masks and hospital beds across the country
- Local politicians like New York Mayor Bill de Blasio are calling on Trump to mobilize the military to help
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
The Surgeon General warned on Wednesday that it could take longer than 15 days to slow the spread of coronavirus but that Americans must ‘pitch in’ and do their part now to stay home and self-isolate if they want the deadly disease to die.
Jerome Adams appeared on Today to make the plea, a day after President Trump issued a 15-day set of guidelines to people to work from home where possible and practice social distancing.
Millions have heeded the advice and are avoiding going out. Some, like in cities where the pandemic spreading the quickest, are calling for harsher action, like a two-week national shutdown to force people indoors.
On Tuesday, startling new data revealed that as many as 2million Americans may die if no further action is taken but that making people self-isolate now for 18 months could cut that figure to 200,000.
There has not been a clear cut answer on how long Americans will have to continue living in this current state of crisis.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said the current state of crisis could last nine months, whereas experts overseas say it could even longer.
On Wednesday morning, Adams said that the practical advice for Americans was to stay at home for the next 15 days and avoid social gatherings but it would ‘likely’ take longer to stunt the spread of the virus.
‘If we can get America to pitch in for the next 15 days, we can flatten the curve.
‘Fifteen days is likely not going to be enough to get us all the way through, but we need to lean into it now to bend the curve over the next 15 days and at that point we will reassess.
‘What you’re talking about is our 15 days to stop the spread.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 18, 2020
‘We want them to avoid gatherings of 10 or more, unnecessary travel, work from home if at all possible.
‘When we look at the data, our numbers are where Italy’s are two to three weeks ago.
‘Do we want to go the way of Italy or do we want to go the way of South Korea and China who were actually able to level off the peak and decrease the numbers,’ he said, referring to the two countries’ harsh approach which involved people self-containing weeks ago and staying home.
Trump on Wednesday referred to the virus again as the ‘Chinese Virus’ and said he’d handled it well from the beginning
Adams said he felt the nation was ‘turning a corner’ in the amount of people taking the virus seriously.
‘We’re starting to turn a corner. People really are [sensing the urgency].
‘I have a 15-year-old son and a 14-year-old son at home.
‘They don’t care what dad says, even if he is the surgeon general, but by golly do they know that Kevin Durant just got diagnosed with the coronavirus and they’re taking it seriously,’ he said, referring to the Brooklyn Nets player who, along with three teammates, has the virus.
‘We want people to understand; chances are you don’t have it and chances are if you do have it you will recover.