WASHINGTON - In an exclusive interview with CBN News, US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams warned cases of COVID-19 could continue to spike across the country.
"Based on the current trajectory we do expect things to get worse or stay level for a while because we know that cases are the first thing you see. Second thing you see are hospitalizations, third is deaths," Dr. Adams said.
He warns the country can't test or treat its way out of the problem so it's put to people to stop the spread. Adams said more than 50% of COVID-19 cases is spread by someone with no symptoms. That's why he keeps pleading for the public to do the three W's: wash hands, watch your distance, and wear masks.
"If we do these three things there is data out there, studies out there now that shows us that we can effectively slow of coronavirus and safely open schools, safely get back to worship," Adams told CBN News. "We don't know about eradication, but we know we can stamp out the level of spread enough that we can get back to some sense of normalcy."
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"Italy for instance one of the hardest-hit places in the world," the surgeon general explained. "Months ago we were talking about people dying in hallways in Italy because the healthcare system was overwhelmed. They are now playing soccer games there. They are now having tourism come back again. They are now opening schools. This virus course is about one to two weeks in an average person which means if you take the right steps now to prevent the spread as a nation you can see dividends in as little as two weeks. We can turn this thing around really quickly."
Adams said Dr. Anthony Fauci is "confident" the US will have a vaccine by the end of the year or beginning of 2021.
"Less than 50% of people get a flu vaccine, so we can have a vaccine that is safe, we can have a vaccine that is effective but if only half of Americans are accepting of it then it's not going to help them. We need to work on vaccine confidence," Adams noted.
It's estimated more than 4.2 million children in the US are behind on their vaccinations due to the virus.
"We are worried we are going to see a resurgence of vaccine-preventable like measles, mumps, rubella," Adams said. "The World Health Organization is looking at this millions potentially of deaths around the world on the shutdown cause people are falling behind on both vaccinations and on the diagnosis of infectious diseases that go beyond COVID like HIV and malaria."
Lawmakers on Capitol Hill plan to work through the weekend on the next round of relief help with hopes to have a bill for President Donald Trump to sign next week.
"We want to make sure we have the resources available from a public health capacity to be able to respond to this outbreak," Adams told CBN News. "We want to make sure we have enough testing available for people and we see a decrease of turnaround times and I want the American people to know we are working on that, increasing ability on point of care testing, return results in 15 minutes."