The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned Americans that if they don't follow four simple rules intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus, this fall will be the United States' worst ever in terms of public health.
As CNN reported, on Thursday Dr. Robert Redfield pleaded with Americans to take mundane precautions for the sake of the country.
"For your country right now and for the war that we're in against COVID, I'm asking you to do four simple things: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands, and be smart about crowds," he said.
He went on to add that he's not asking "some" of America to do it, but all of the country.
Failure to do so, he said, could lead to the worst fall in U.S. history from a public health perspective.
Indeed, the prediction that the fall will be a dire one for the U.S. when it comes to managing the COVID-19 pandemic has been made before in recent weeks. As reported earlier this month by The Inquisitr, a computer model predicted that, by December, the death toll from COVID-19 in the U.S. could be as high as 300,000. As of Wednesday, the death toll from the pandemic stands at just over 166,000.
At the time, Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University noted that the same model predicted a scenario in which the number of projected deaths could be reduced by 70,000 if Americans would, on a large scale, take up wearing masks.
"The virus is with us, and we're going to have to combat it, and the simple thing that we can all do is wear a mask. Please, everyone, wear your mask every day," he said.
Meanwhile, Redfield referenced another viral bugaboo that bedevils the health care system on a predictable, annual basis: the seasonal flu. Specifically, the CDC director noted that cases of influenza will soon start popping up, and Americans need to get vaccinated — children especially.
"By getting vaccinated, you can protect your children. When we look at the mortality that we see with flu, one thing is for certain. The kids that get vaccinated, they basically get protected against death," he said.
However, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, predicts widespread resistance to getting vaccinated against the coronavirus when — or if — such an inoculation is developed. He noted that a third of Americans have said they won't get vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes COVID-19.
"Speaking for myself, I think I underestimated the level of public resistance. I didn't expect it to be that widespread," he said.