Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is warning the United States could face heightened difficulty turning the corner on the pandemic if coronavirus safety measures are not followed.
On Wednesday, Redfield expressed concern about the coming months as he noted that the country could face “the worst fall, from a public health perspective, we’ve ever had.”
Redfield reiterated the basics of mitigating the virus as he stressed the importance of the four safety measures top infectious diseases experts have championed over the last several months.
“For your country right now and for the war that we’re in against COVID, I’m asking you to do four simple things: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, and be smart about crowds,” Redfield said.
See Redfield’s remarks below (14:15):
Redfield’s latest remarks follow the recent debate about the reopening of schools in the United States. Shortly after releasing the CDC guidelines for reopening schools, Redfield was met with opposition from President Donald Trump who sharply criticized the extensive guidelines.
Although Redfield initially opted to revise the guidelines but ultimately opted not to do so.
In a statement regarding the reopening of schools, Redfield noted that it is critical for public health. He has also admitted that doing so poses a significant threat in areas where hotspots are evident.
“It is critically important for our public health to open schools this fall,” Redfield said. “The CDC resources released today will help parents, teachers and administrators make practical, safety-focused decisions as this school year begins. I know this has been a difficult time for our Nation’s families.”
He continued, “School closures have disrupted normal ways of life for children and parents, and they have had negative health consequences on our youth. CDC is prepared to work with K-12 schools to safely reopen while protecting the most vulnerable.”
As of Thursday afternoon, there are more than 5.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States as the death toll approaches 170,000.
According to Redfield, the timeline for a vaccine is still unclear because there is “no corner cut for safety,” he said during the WebMD interview.