Nov 15, 2020 - Health

U.S. surgeon general: "Pandemic fatigue" behind soaring coronavirus cases

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams takes off his face mask as he appears before a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on September 9

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams. Photo: MichaelL Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

"Pandemic fatigue" is the main reason for the record rises in COVID-19 cases the United States has seen this month, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams told NPR in an interview broadcast Saturday.

Why it matters: The U.S. is on track for its worst month of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. The latest Johns Hopkins data shows the U.S. broke the world record for the number of new cases again on Friday, with 177,224 people testing positive.

What he's saying: "The virus hit different places of the country at different points," Adams told NPR.

  • "And so you've had people who've been doing these things since February, March, April, but they didn't really start to see the wave until later on. And they're just plain tired."
  • Adams urged people to celebrate Thanksgiving in person with members of their household and to include others virtually.

Go deeper: How "COVID fatigue" clouds judgment and endangers public health

Go deeper