Alex Azar: ‘The window is closing’ for the US to have the coronavirus under control


“Things are very different from two months ago … So it is a very different situation, but this is a very, very serious situation and the window is closing so that we can take action and have this under control “Azar told CNN’s Jake. Tapper on “State of the Union”.

He suggested that the United States is better positioned to handle the pandemic than before, noting an increase in testing, contact tracing, hospital capacity, stocks of personal protective equipment, and progress toward therapeutics and potential vaccines for the virus. .

The message from the top health official differs from that of President Donald Trump, who appears to be poised to emerge from the pandemic, which is still raging, and that of Vice President Mike Pence.
At a press conference Friday by the White House coronavirus task force, the first in nearly two months, Pence said the United States had “flattened the curve,” painting a rosy square at odds with reality.
Thirty-six states report an increase in coronavirus positive cases, and only two report a decrease in cases compared to last week.
On Friday, the US reported the highest number of new cases in a single day, with at least 40,173 new infections. The previous daily high was reported Thursday.

Several states, including the states of Texas and Washington, and localities have paused their reopening plans or have re-imposed some restrictions in hopes of slowing the spread of the virus.

Azar denied that the reopening too quickly was related to the increase in cases, but instead, “inappropriate individual behavior” that has allowed the virus to spread.

“It’s not so much about what the law says about reopening as it is about our behaviors within that,” he told Tapper.

He warned that if Americans “act irresponsibly, if we don’t distance ourselves socially, if we don’t wear facial covering in places where we can’t social distance, if we don’t practice proper personal hygiene, we are going to see the spread of the disease.”

Trump's effort to dismantle Obamacare during the pandemic could be his riskiest move yet
When asked about the Trump administration’s request to the Supreme Court on Thursday to invalidate the Affordable Care Act in the midst of a pandemic, Azar said they will work with Congress on a replacement plan.

“We have made it very clear that the Supreme Court is shooting down all or much of Obamacare, because it is constitutionally or legally ill, we will work with Congress to create a program that genuinely protects people with pre-existing conditions,” Azar said, adding that the details Exactly will depend on the court’s decision and the composition of Congress.

Former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, warned Sunday on Fox News that as the US conducts more tests and our hospitals are better prepared, ” this virus still has the advantage. ”

When asked if the Trump administration’s claims of an increase in the number of cases was the result of further tests, Frieden rejected it and said: “As a doctor, scientist and epidemiologist, I can tell you with 100% certainty that in the Most states where you are seeing an increase, it is a real increase.

“It’s not more evidence, it’s more spread of the virus,” Frieden said.

CNN’s Christina Maxouris and Wes Bruer contributed to this report.

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