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Alex Azar: “The window is closing” for the United States to keep coronavirus under control



“Things are very different from two months ago … So it’s a very different situation, but this is a very, very serious situation and the window is closing for us to take action and get this under control,” Azar said to Jake of CNN Tapper on “State of the Union”.

He suggested that the United States is in a better position to manage the pandemic than before, indicating an increase in tests, contact traces, hospital capacity, reserves of personal protective equipment and progress towards therapies and potentials. vaccines for the virus.

The message from the main health official differs from that of President Donald Trump, who seems ready to move on from the pandemic still stormy, and Vice President Mike Pence.
During a press briefing on Friday by the White House coronavirus task force, the first in nearly two months, Pence declared that the United States had “flattened the curve”
;, painting a rosy picture in contrast to reality.
Thirty-six states are reporting an increase in positive coronavirus cases and only two are reporting a decline in cases since last week.
On Friday, the United States reported the largest number of new cases in a single day, with at least 40,173 new infections. The previous daily high was reported on Thursday.

Several states, including the state of Texas and Washington, and localities have suspended their reopening plans or reintroduced restrictions in hopes of curbing the spread of the virus.

Azar denied that the too rapid reopening was linked to the increase in cases, but instead an “inappropriate individual behavior” that allowed the virus to spread.

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

He warned that if Americans “act irresponsibly, if we don’t move away socially, if we don’t use face coatings in environments where we can’t socialize, if we don’t practice proper personal hygiene, we’re going to see the spread of disease “.

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

“We have made it clear that the Supreme Court demolishes Obamacare in whole or in part, since it is constitutionally or statutory confirmed, we will work with Congress to create a program that truly protects people with pre-existing conditions,” said Azar, adding that the exact details they will depend on the court’s decision and the composition of the Congress.

Tom Frieden, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned Fox News Sunday that while the United States is conducting further tests and our hospitals are better prepared, “this virus still has the upper hand.”

Asked if the Trump administration’s claims about the increase in the number of cases were the result of further tests, Frieden dismissed it, saying, “As a doctor, scientist, epidemiologist, I can tell you with 100% certainty that in most states where you are seeing an increase, it is a real increase.

“They are no longer testing, the virus is spreading more,” Frieden said.

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


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