Surgeon general on coronavirus pandemic: ‘It’s going to get bad’

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US Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks during a press briefing about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC, March 14, 2020. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The surgeon general had a grim warning Monday that the coronavirus pandemic will get worse because Americans aren’t taking the threat seriously enough.

“I want America to understand this week, it’s going to get bad,” Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said during an interview on NBC’s Today. “We really need to come together as a nation.”

Adams said too many people—especially those who are young—aren’t following social distancing protocols and guidance to stay at home.

“Right now, there are not enough people out there who are taking this seriously,” he said. “A lot of people think this can’t happen to them.”

He pointed to people who flocked to beaches for spring break and others who went to the National Mall to view the cherry blossom trees.

“When you look at what’s going on in New York…the numbers you see reflect what happened two weeks ago,” Adams said. “We don’t want Dallas or New Orleans or Chicago to turn into the next New York. That means everyone needs to be taking the right steps, right now. And that means stay at home.”

In New York, more than half of cases involve people between the ages of 18 and 49.

“It’s important for young people to know you can get this disease, you can be hospitalized from this disease, you can die from this disease, but most importantly, you can spread it to your loved ones.”

Adams said “every single day, every single second” counts. He advocated testing for those who are at the highest risk, including front line healthcare workers.

“Everyone needs to act as if they have the virus right now. So, test or no test. We need you to understand you could be spreading it to someone else. Or you could be getting it from someone else. Stay at home.”

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