U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams on Monday said America has made it “over the hump” of COVID-19 “because we’re near a vaccine,” days after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NBC News U.S. coronavirus statistics “were disturbing.”
“I know that there is a lot of fatigue,” Adams said during a visit to Bakersfield, California, where he spoke with community leaders about business, education and the virus. “I know it feels like this has been going on for forever, but honestly, we are I think over the hump.”
“It’s important to understand, we don’t have to wait until we get a vaccine to drive down community transmission,” he added. “If you all take the measures now to lower community spread — wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance — we could very quickly get into a better situation in safely reopening.”
Fauci last Friday during an interview with NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell disputed President Donald Trump’s claim that the U.S. is “rounding the corner.”
“I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with that because if you look at the thing that you just mentioned, the statistics, Andrea, they’re disturbing,” Fauci said. “We’re plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day and the deaths are around 1,000.”
Trump on Tuesday said a vaccine could be ready to distribute in as little as 4-8 weeks.
“We’re going to have a vaccine in a matter of weeks, it could be four weeks it could be eight weeks…will it be before the Election, it could be…we’ll start delivering it immediately upon getting it,” Trump told “Fox & Friends.”
Fauci has said a vaccine by Election Day was theoretically possible.
More than 6.1 million people in the U.S. have been infected with COVID-19, and nearly 186,000 have died.
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