“I hear people repeat like parrots that masks do not work, (…) that large gatherings do not lead to super-propagating events”, said Dr Deborah Birx, coordinator of the cell. White House coronavirus crisis. “They are wrong.”
“We have governors and mayors who have the same number of cases as they had during the summer, but who are not pushing the same policies as they were then, which they know have changed. ‘evolution of the pandemic “, she regretted.
“It’s very disappointing,” she said, speaking of the “worst public health event” for the country.
Without openly criticizing the president, Ms. Birx nevertheless spoke the day after a campaign rally by the Republican billionaire, who visited the US state of Georgia on Saturday evening to campaign for a senatorial election.
The vast majority of his supporters, huddled shoulder to shoulder in the open air to listen to him, wore no masks. And the president, who has only very rarely displayed himself with this protection, has barely mentioned the virus during his nearly two hours of speech.
The United States is however facing an unprecedented outbreak of the epidemic: for three consecutive days they have beaten the absolute record of new cases in 24 hours, with nearly 230,000 contaminations recorded between Friday and Saturday evening.
And they deplore more than 2,500 deaths in 24 hours for five days – unheard of, even at the worst of the epidemic peak of spring. More than 100,000 people sick with the coronavirus are currently hospitalized across the country, a level that had never been reached before.
“The future will be bleak for the next six weeks,” influential former head of the Drugs Agency Scott Gottlieb told CBS on Sunday. “People must protect themselves,” he added, predicting a possible death toll of 400,000 at the end of January (280,000 deaths at present).
“The next two months will most likely be as bad or worse” than the last two, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Tom Frieden, warned Sunday on Twitter.
On Friday, the CDC recommended for the first time the “universal use” of the mask, that is to say, right out of the house, indoors and outdoors.
“The United States has entered a phase of high-level transmission,” the CDC noted.