Surgeon General Jerome Adams is sounding the alarm bells. Per Slate, Adams appeared on a number of Sunday talk shows to warn the American people that the coming week will be one of the toughest in the nation’s history, and the worst so far in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
“This is going to be the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives, quite frankly,” he told Fox News host Chris Wallace, comparing what is about to come to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the military strike on Pearl Harbor in World War II.
“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized. It’s going to be happening all over the country.”
Adams also offered some words of encouragement, urging all Americans to stay inside and practice social distancing, in order to slow down the spread of the virus. Even though the coming week will be the worst so far, according to Adams, “there is a light at the end of the tunnel if everyone does their part for the next 30 days.”
Despite issuing dire warnings, Adams — who used to claim that the seasonal flu is more dangerous than the coronavirus — told Fox News that cigarette smoking will kill more Americans than the virus. Wallace challenged the assertion, arguing that the comparison does not hold water and pointing out that taking drugs and smoking cigarettes is an individual choice people make.
The surgeon general also appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press, where he discussed the refusal of some governors to impose restrictions meant to contain the virus. According to Adams, the vast majority of Americans are practicing social distancing and taking the virus seriously, but governors nevertheless need to cooperate with the federal government.
“But If you can’t give us 30 days, governors, give us a week, give us what you can so that we don’t overwhelm our health care systems over this next week,” Adams said, referring to the eight Republican governors who have refused to issue stay-at-home orders despite warnings from public health experts.
WATCH: Vice Admiral Jerome Adams says "we want everyone to act as if they have COVID-19 right now." #MTP #IfItsSunday@Surgeon_General: "Protect your neighbor, protect your loved ones." pic.twitter.com/RgBoh6X85y
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) April 5, 2020
Adams’ warnings echo the comments President Donald Trump made at Saturday’s White House press briefing. Warning of “the toughest” week in the fight against the virus, Trump said that “there will be death.” According to the president, even though the administration is doing all it can to contain the outbreak, the nation is now on track to hit peak numbers of coronavirus cases.
During the same conference, despite suggesting that the worst is yet to come, Trump signaled that he wants to reopen the economy as soon as possible, claiming that Americans “have to get back to work.”