The secretary of health of the United States, Alex Azar, warned that “the window is closing” on the possibility of the country to take measures to effectively curb the coronavirus, since the number of confirmed cases exceeded 2.5 million.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services noted a recent increase in infections, particularly in the south, and said that people have to “act responsibly” through social distancing and the use of face masks, especially “in these hot areas” .
For the third day in a row on Saturday, the number of confirmed cases in the US increased by more than 40,000. In Arizona, cases have increased 267% so far in June and rose by a record 3,857 cases on Sunday, the eighth record increase this month. Overall, deaths in the US from Covid-19 have exceeded 125,000 with more than 2.5 million confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University compilation, far more than any other country in the world.
The new surge in Covid-19 cases has been most pronounced in a handful of southern and western states that reopened earlier and more aggressively, with the support of the Trump administration, despite warnings from officials at health to expect to see a steady decline in cases. Texas and Florida were among the states that reversed course in parts of their reopening plans last week as cases continue to escalate.
Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press show Sunday morning, host Chuck Todd asked Azar why the United States was not addressing the Covid-19 crisis, especially when so many other countries appear to be succeeding.
Azar acknowledged that the United States was “seeing a sudden increase in cases” and that the majority of them are among people under the age of 35, which means that “a large number of them” will be asymptomatic, presenting a different challenge for women. authorities trying to control it. in buds.
“This is a very serious situation,” said Azar, adding that “the window is closing” to stop the virus from spreading. “We have to act, and people as individuals have to act responsibly. We need social distance, we need to use our facial covers ”.
Azar argued that the United States is in a better position than two months ago to fight the virus because it is conducting more tests and has therapies available to treat Covid-19. But he acknowledged that hospitalizations and deaths could increase in the coming weeks, because it is a lagging indicator.
The Trump administration has long been criticized for its response to the coronavirus crisis, and the president has frequently disagreed with public health officials about the best course of action to curb the spread.