Infectious disease expert says coronavirus won't slow down until 'about 60% or 70%' of American population is infected, points out US is at 'about 5%'
A waiter at Mon Ami Gabi, a French restaurant in Maryland, wears a protective face mask when serving customers outdoors in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic on June 12, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland.
Sarah Silbiger / Getty Images
The director of the Center for Research and Prevention of Infectious Diseases said the US was at an "uncertain moment" regarding the impact of the reopening of states and the protests during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Michael Osterholm told Fox News Sunday that it was too early to determine whether protests were a source of widespread infections, but early data suggest that the demonstrations are not responsible for increases in 22 states.
The disease control and prevention centers predicted on June 12 that the number of deaths from US coronaviruses could increase to 130,000 by July 4.
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Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Research and Prevention of Infectious Diseases, said on Sunday that the US is in an "uncertain moment" as states reopen and new cases emerge.
"We have to be humble and say that we are in an unsafe moment," said Osterholm on Fox News Sunday, adding that states across the country are at different stages of the pandemic as 22 an increase in coronavirus Cases were recorded, eight in plateaus and 21 with decreasing cases.
Related video: How long will social distancing take?
How long will social distancing take? It's complicated.
To prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and to smooth the curve, many countries practice social distancing or what the WHO now calls physical distancing. The virus is transmitted via breath droplets. So if you keep physical distance from people, you and other people can be protected. People stay inside, work from home and only go out for essential activities. But how long will this time of social distancing take? Unfortunately nobody knows exactly. The answer is complicated and depends in part on our actions.
Osterholm spoke when states reopened shops weeks ago, Americans flocked to warm weather, and widespread protests dragged people into cities across the country. In the first weeks of June there was a sharp increase in new cases and hospital stays.
The United States reached a grim milestone two weeks after June when more than 2 million people were infected and 115,000 died from the virus. The disease control and prevention centers predicted on June 12 that the number of deaths from US coronaviruses could increase to 130,000 by July 4.
"Approximately 5% of the US population has been infected with the virus to date. This virus will not rest until it reaches approximately 60% or 70%," said Osterholm. "When I say calm, I mean just slow down, so we'll see a lot of additional cases one way or another."
The expert said to host Chris Wallace that the increase was not only due to increasingly available tests and it was too early to determine whether protests were a source of widespread infections, but early data suggest that this is not the case is.
"The next two weeks will be the crucial time, we just don't know," he said. "We don't drive this tiger, we ride it."
"My main concern is that cases are disappearing across the country, indicating that we are at a low point," which would lead to a second wave of the virus, said Osterholm.
Dr. Anthony Fauci recently downplayed concerns that the recent surge in new coronavirus cases in the United States is not a "second spike" of infection and seasonal resurgence was "not inevitable".
Although Fauci told CNN on June 12 that indicators such as hospitalization could still raise concerns for civil servants, increased testing and CDC skills could counteract a possible resuscitation in cases.
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