Housing & Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson appeared on Fox News‘ The Story with Martha MacCallum on Thursday and spoke about the progression of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the former pediatric neurosurgeon — who is currently a member of Donald Trump‘s COVID-19 task force — the United States’ curve of cases appears to be leveling out.
“When we see that bell-shaped curve — and we’ve seen it come down rather steeply in some other countries — when that happens [and] we haven’t seen it go back up, that’s what we are looking for here,” Carson said, noting that the process appears to be starting.
He also expressed his belief that approximately 98 percent of people who contract coronavirus will recover.
“You probably do know someone that has it, you may have it, who knows?” Carson said. “But people have been terrified because we’ve talked about the bad.”
He emphasized the importance of continuing to practice social distancing, which fellow task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said was successfully decreasing the need for hospitalizations, per CNN. The secretary also suggested that the United States economy would only open under two conditions: the infection curve is low enough and adequate antibody testing is available.
“Obviously, we don’t want to [resume economic activity] too early. We will wait for a couple of weeks and see if that continues down and then we also need to make sure that we have appropriate testing.”
At a Thursday White House briefing, Fauci urged Americans to continue practicing social distancing to maintain the recent trend of lower hospitalizations and ultimately flatten the curve.
During CNN’s town hall on Thursday, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), echoed Fauci’s sentiments and highlighted the power of social distancing when combatting coronavirus, noting that the virus’ effectiveness ends at seven feet.
As reported by Medical Xpress, Fauci expressed optimism that the U.S. economy might be reopened by the summer. However, he warned that such a possibility could only occur if the population is prepared to deal with a subsequent spike of infections.
Amid social distancing, recent models for coronavirus deaths in America have lowered. According to the White House — which uses the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model — projected deaths from the virus are down to 60,000. Addressing the drop, Fauci said the country’s total deaths could be far less than the 240,000 initially predicted by the model, but only if Americans continue to practice social distancing restrictions.