According to experts, the increase in coronavirus is likely to continue for weeks

“We are moving too fast,” Frieden said of states that were still eager to continue reopening in stages as cases continue to rise. “It’s like leaning on a left hook. They are going to hit you hard. And that is what is happening. “

Coronavirus cases in the US now exceed 2.5 million, with more than 125,000 deaths reported, in both cases the highest in the world. The country’s inability to control the spread of the virus is likely to lead to American citizens being banned from traveling to Europe, for example, where cases have in some cases decreased by 90% from their peak.

A move by the EU to restrict travel from the United States was the inevitable result of the continued spread in the United States, Gottlieb said. Increasing restrictions on travel within the United States could come later, he said.

A CBS poll released Sunday showed 62% of respondents said the United States’ efforts to deal with the virus are “going wrong,” compared to 57% in early June. The percentage that said President Donald Trump was doing a “good job” on the virus was 41%, the lowest of the five surveys conducted since the end of March.

The survey of 2,009 American adults was conducted June 23-26. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

Alex Azar, US Secretary of Health and Human Services, told CNN’s “State of the Union” that the “window is closing” to control the spread of the virus.

“This is a very, very serious situation,” said Azar, a negative assessment contradicted by Vice President Mike Pence in a subsequent interview.

Pence, who will visit Texas on Sunday, downplayed the current increase in the states, emphasizing that it affected only 4% of US counties and that it was caused by more cases in youth, who were less likely to suffer serious consequences for health.

“We are in a much better place to respond to these outbreaks than we were four months ago,” Pence told CBS’s “Face the Nation,” noting that the nation is screening about 500,000 people per day and has greater capacity for surveillance and surveillance. community testing.

“We have also expanded our healthcare capacity across the country, literally seeing billions delivered in personal protective equipment, ventilators,” he said. “And the most important thing right now is that we have seen the development and distribution of therapies that have literally been saving lives across the country.”

Pence also dismissed concerns that the surge in new infections has been fueled by the rapid loosening of public health restrictions and the Trump administration’s push to reopen the economy quickly with the November election in mind.

“There is a temptation to associate the new cases at Sunbelt with the reopening, but it is important to remember” that states like Florida and Texas actually started opening in early May and avoided a spike in infections “for most of six weeks, ” he said.

Also in “Face the Nation,” Gottlieb said the spread of the virus is likely to continue to grow in the absence of requirements for “universal masking” of people in affected states.

Requiring people to wear masks is “the simplest intervention we could take” to stop the spread of the virus, Gottlieb said. Polls, including the CBS poll, show that the issue of wearing masks has become highly politicized in the U.S.

While the virus has declined in the Northeast, states like Florida, Texas, and Arizona have seen an increase in virus cases in recent days. Other measures, including hospitalizations and deaths, have not increased as much.

On Sunday, Florida officials said coronavirus cases in the state increased 6.4% from the previous day. Cumulative hospitalizations for Florida residents increased 0.8%. Cases in Arizona increased 5.5%, above the state average of a daily 4.4% increase over the past week.

Current record rates of recently reported cases of 40,000 or more in the past few days likely reflected a much larger outbreak, Gottlieb said.

According to CDC’s own calculations, the actual number of infections was 5 to 10 times higher than reported, Gottlieb said, and that meant the actual rate of new infections was likely to be “quarter of a million” each day.

Frieden said that while there were potentially encouraging signs among the growing proportion of younger people, who are less likely to experience serious complications, among the new cases reported, that shouldn’t be a reason to become complacent.

“What starts in young people does not stay in young people,” he said, as younger, often asymptomatic, people can transmit the coronavirus to the most vulnerable people, including family members and coworkers.

It was false to rule out the recent increase in daily cases based on an increase in evidence, Frieden said. A lower death rate was also potentially misleading, he said, and the reported deaths would likely delay an increase in cases by about a month.