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US COVID-19 surge likely to continue for weeks

Shawn Donnan, Bloomberg News on

Published in News & Features

A surge in coronavirus that has seen record numbers of new U.S. cases in recent days is likely to continue for weeks after states moved too soon to reopen their economies, two of the country's leading public health experts said Sunday.

The warnings by Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control from 2009 to 2017, and Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, came as a new poll showed confidence in how the U.S. is dealing with COVID-19 has fallen.

In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Frieden said the virus continued to have the "upper hand," even as he acknowledged Americans had become tired of the restrictions needed to contain it.

"We're all sick and tired of staying home. But you know what? The virus is not tired of making us sick," he said.

"We are moving too fast," Frieden said of states that remained eager to continue phased reopenings as cases continue to rise. "It's like leaning into a left hook. You are going to get hit hard. And that's what is happening."

2.5 million cases

 

U.S. coronavirus cases now exceed 2.5 million, with over 125,000 reported fatalities -- in both cases the world's highest. The country's inability to control the spread of the virus seems likely to result in U.S. citizens being banned from traveling to Europe, for example, as air travel slowly resumes worldwide.

A move by the EU to restrict travel from the U.S. was the inevitable result of the continuing spread in America, Gottlieb said. Growing restrictions on travel within the U.S. could come next, he said.

A CBS poll released on Sunday showed 62% of those surveyed said U.S. efforts to deal with the virus are "going badly," up from 57% in early June. The percentage who said President Donald Trump was doing a "good job" on the virus was 41%, the lowest of five polls taken since late March.

The survey of 2,009 U.S. adults was taken June 23-26. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.

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