“For your country right now and for the war we are in against Covid in, I ask you to do four simple things: wear a mask, get away socially, wash your hands and be smart in front of crowds,” said the Dr Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I’m not asking some Americans to do this,” he told WebMD. “We all have to do it.”
Without following the recommendations, this could be “the worst fall, from a public health point of view, that we have ever had,” he said. In addition to taking action to combat the pandemic, people should also get the flu shot.
“By getting vaccinated, you can protect your children,” he says. “When we look at the mortality we see with the flu, one thing is certain. Children who are vaccinated are essentially protected against death.
The CDC bought 10 million doses of the flu vaccine for uninsured adults this year, up from a typical 500,000 doses. Regarding coronavirus vaccines, Redfield is cautiously optimistic that one or more vaccines will be ready by early 2021.
There are 270 active trials for coronavirus treatments, experts say.
And anti-vaxxers have taken to social media to spread lies about the future coronavirus vaccine. Some claim it contains monkey brains or that it is a CIA plot to take over the world. Others claim the vaccine will include an invisible, traceable tattoo or disfigure those who take it.
As lies spread, the government’s multibillion-dollar vaccination effort has yet to culminate in a public education campaign to counter the propaganda.
“We’re late here,” said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. “We haven’t done a good job of getting information (on the coronavirus vaccine).”
The stakes are high. A third of Americans said they would not get the coronavirus vaccine, even though the vaccine is widely available and inexpensive, according to a CNN poll in May.
“Speaking for myself, I think I underestimated the level of public resistance,” Collins said. “I didn’t expect it to be this widespread.”
Dr Tina Hartert, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said lack of confidence in the vaccine could lead to major outbreaks. She described the government’s communication on the vaccine as crucial.
“We should have started months ago, but it’s never too late to send this important message. Because otherwise the message people will listen to is the story of a child from another parent, ”Hartert told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
The coronavirus continues to spread at high rates in the South, Midwest and West – even as the total number of new cases has declined following a summer surge.
Nationally, over the past seven days, the United States averages 53,000 new cases per day, down 11% from the previous week. As educators and parents argue to start classes in person, some schools that have reopened have seen new cases.
More than 2,000 students, teachers and staff have been quarantined in the few reopened districts in several states, according to a CNN tally of reported cases. Of these, at least 230 positive coronavirus cases have been reported among school districts reopened for in-person learning.
In Georgia, just outside of Atlanta, more than 1,100 students, teachers and staff in the Cherokee County School District are in quarantine due to dozens of positive cases or exposure to Covid-19. Schools reopened 10 days ago.
In Florida, a day after the Martin County School District reopened for in-person instruction, an entire elementary class and a bus line were quarantined after a student showed symptoms of coronavirus, said Wednesday spokesperson Jennifer DeShazo.
Several states, including Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma and Indiana, have reported cases of teachers, students and athletes testing positive for the coronavirus. In Oklahoma’s Broken Arrow Public School District, 33 employees tested positive last week, Superintendent Janet Vinson said.
The White House has released new recommendations for schools. This is mostly basic hygiene advice and does not describe what schools should do if they discover cases of coronavirus in their halls. The recommendations also encourage the use of masks, but do not require students, teachers or staff to wear them.
President Donald Trump has said the federal government will provide up to 125 million masks to school districts across the country.
Deaths from the virus remained high.
The seven-day average of daily coronavirus deaths was over 1,000 on Wednesday, the 17th consecutive day in the United States to average over 1,000 deaths per day.
When considering population, the Southeastern states see the most new cases. Georgia and Florida – states led by Republican governors that have not issued face mask requirements – have the highest new cases per capita in the past seven days, followed by Alabama and of Mississippi.
Florida health officials announced more than 8,000 new cases and 212 new deaths on Wednesday.