Jun 28, 2020 - Health

Former CDC director says states reopening too quickly led to coronavirus surge

Tom Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told "Fox News Sunday" that the new surge in coronavirus cases is the result of states lifting their lockdown measures too quickly.

Why it matters: Florida, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina and Nevada reported new daily coronavirus case records on Saturday, while the country as a whole reported more than 45,000 new cases on June 26 alone, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

What they're saying: "If you open when cases are still increasing, as many states did, it's like leaning into a left hook," Frieden said. "You're going to get hit hard, and that's what's happening."

  • "When we see Arizona, Texas, Florida, South Carolina — they are currently in a rapid upswing. And, sad to say, this is going to continue to get worse for weeks because the physical distancing that they're implementing now will only take effect — you don't see it for another few weeks. So we're going to see a few more weeks of increases, in all likelihood, in several states."
  • "We're going to see increasing spread. That's why the three W's are so important: wear a mask, wash your hands — or use sanitizer — and watch your distance."

The big picture: Frieden said there's a misconception that there's a silver lining in the fact that younger people account for more of the new cases.

  • "Now there's some comfort in the fact that it's younger people, but what starts in the young doesn't stay in the young," Frieden said.
  • Texas, one of the early states to roll back its lockdown measures, is now urging its citizens to stay at home again as cases begin to climb.

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