These are the “10 obvious truths” about the coronavirus pandemic, says former CDC director Tom Frieden


“In my 30 years in global public health, I have never seen anything like this,” said Frieden, who is now president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives. ” It’s scary. It’s unprecedented. “

1. “It’s really bad” in New York

“Even now, with deaths drastically decreasing, there are twice as many deaths from Covid-19 in New York than there is a usual day for all other causes combined,” said Frieden.

New York has the most confirmed coronavirus cases of any state in the country, with 321,192 cases in total and 25,231 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. In New York alone, there are 173,288 cases with 43,676 hospitalized and 13,938 confirmed deaths.

2. It’s “just the beginning”

Frieden said as bad as things seem now, he thinks we are still in the initial stages of the pandemic.

Experts John Barry and Marc Lipsitch have co-authored a new report that predicts the coronavirus pandemic could last up to two years longer, and they warn that the situation could become “much worse than what we have seen so far.” now “.

3. Data is a “very powerful weapon against this virus”

Frieden explained that the data used to monitor trends can help stop clusters before they turn into epidemics. According to him, data can help prevent epidemics from turning into epidemics.

Stanford University epidemiologist Dr. John Ioannidis discovered from emerging data that coronavirus infections are more common than experts initially thought, and the average person’s risk of dying is lower than expected.

4. We have to “lock up the virus”

While home orders have slowed the spread of the virus and flattened the curve in states such as New York and California, the virus continues to spread nationwide with around 30,000 new cases a day for almost a month. .

As the United States of America plans to loosen the restrictions, the country is opening up to an increase in infections. This is why, said Frieden, we have to lock up the coronavirus once the curve starts to flatten out.

5. Balance must be found

The economy does not have to be at the expense of public health. Dr. Frieden said there is a need to strike a balance between restarting our economy and letting the virus spread.

A model from the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has released a revised balance sheet that suggests that 134,000 Americans could die by August, likely given the impact of state openings. And a draft internal report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obtained by the New York Times, found that the number of deaths per day could reach 3,000 on June 1.

6. Protect “frontline heroes”

“We need to protect health care workers and other essential workers, or the frontline heroes of this war,” said Frieden.

According to an estimate by the CDC, more than 9,200 health workers have been infected with the coronavirus.

Health workers and essential personnel are the most exposed and hospitals face a shortage of essential protective equipment such as N95 masks to protect them.

7. Also protect our most vulnerable people

According to the CDC, eight of the 10 deaths reported in the United States are due to adults 65 and older. And people with weakened immune systems and underlying diseases such as asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure or diabetes are at higher risk.

“In your everyday life, you are always fighting pathogens,” said Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent. “Most of the time, you don’t even realize it. If you have an underlying condition, it is more difficult to fight a virus like this. You can develop a fever, shortness of breath, or a cough more easily than someone who does not have a preexisting disease. ”

8. Governments and private companies must work together

Government and industry must work together to “Massive and ongoing investments in testing and distributing a vaccine as soon as possible,” said Frieden.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in March that a vaccine may be available in a year to 18 months. However, experts are skeptical.

“I don’t think it was done on an industrial scale in 18 months,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior researcher specializing in emerging infectious diseases at the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University. “The development of a vaccine is usually measured in years, not months. “

A human coronavirus vaccine trial has already started in the UK.

9. We must not neglect health problems unrelated to Covid

As the coronavirus pandemic has flooded and submerged many hospitals with patients around the world, people are no longer suddenly immune to other illnesses and diseases. Many elective procedures have been canceled or postponed, and patients with other illnesses fearfully wait while suspending treatment. Many are too afraid to venture out and visit hospitals for fear of contracting the virus.

10. Preparation is essential

“Never again,” said Frieden. “It is inevitable that there will be future epidemics. It is not inevitable that we will continue to be so ill-prepared. “

CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen, Dr. Minali Nigam, Donald Judd, Ali Zaslav, Daniella Diaz, Kristen Rogers, Robert Kuznia and Ellie Kaufman contributed to this report.


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