Mar 23, 2020 - Health

Surgeon general on coronavirus: "This week, it's gonna get bad"

"I want America to understand: This week, it's going to get bad," Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Monday on NBC's "Today," referring to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

Why it matters: The U.S. has reported more than 35,000 coronavirus cases and 371 deaths from the virus, making it the third-largest outbreak in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

What he's saying:

"We really need to come together as a nation. I think there are a lot of people who are doing the right things, but I think that, unfortunately, we're finding out a lot of people think this can't happen to them.
We don't want Dallas, or New Orleans, or Chicago to turn into the next New York, and it means that everyone needs to be taking the right steps, right now. And that means stay at home."
— Surgeon General Jerome Adams
  • Last week Adams said the Trump administration's push for 15 days of social distancing "is likely not going to be enough" to prevent the virus spreading.

The big picture: Axios' Mike Allen and Sam Baker report that even the base-case scenario for the outbreak in the U.S. is terrible.

  • A survey of epidemiology experts in academia, government and industry predicted about 200,000 deaths in the U.S. this year, but other experts have established a range that stretches from as few as 19,000 deaths to as many as 1.2 million.

Go deeper: The gaping holes in U.S. coronavirus testing strategy

Go deeper

Birx: U.S. will see 100,000 to 200,000 coronavirus deaths if citizens act "almost perfectly"

Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, told NBC's "Today" Monday that a projection of 100,000–200,000 U.S. coronavirus deaths is based on the presumption that citizens follow social-distancing guidelines "almost perfectly."

Why it matters: Birx said she is unsure that people are following the guidelines and cited images circulating online of people around the world congregating in large groups.

Go deeperArrow21 hours ago - Health

De Blasio on downplaying crisis: "None of us have time to look backward"

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio brushed off his previous comments about the coronavirus pandemic on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, insisting that now is not the time to look backward.

Why it matters: De Blasio told New Yorkers in the early stages of the outbreak that they should continue their normal activities. "We want people to go about their lives," he said on March 13. "We want people to rest assured that a lot is being done to protect them."

U.S. coronavirus deaths top 2,000

Nurses at Penn State Health St. Joseph conduct drive-thru coronavirus testing on March 27. Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

More than 2,000 people have died from the novel coronavirus in the U.S. as of Saturday, per data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Why it matters: Recorded deaths in the U.S. surpassed 1,000 two days ago. The U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy.

Go deeper: Trump weighs quarantine of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut