(PatriotHeadline.com)- If the United States wants to reel in the coronavirus, officials better act quickly because “the window is closing.”
Those were the words of Alex Azar, the secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services, who warned people need “to act responsibly” by doing things such as social distancing and wearing face masks when in public especially “in these hot zones” of the country that are currently experiencing spikes.
In total, the U.S. has more than 2.5 million confirmed cases of coronavirus with more than 125,000 deaths, and states in the South and West are experiencing recent troubling surges.
States such as Arizona that were among the first to re-open in late spring are now seeing cases rise exponentially. Arizona, for example, has seen its caseload increase by 267% in June. On Sunday, the state recorded 3,857 new cases, the eighth time this month that a daily tally beat the previous record.
Particularly troubling is that the new confirmed cases are coming from people under the age of 35. As Azar said, a “large number of those” people will be asymptomatic, meaning they may have it and not even know. That’s problematic because they may feel well enough to live their life as normal when they should be under quarantine to protect others.
“This is a very serious situation,” said Azar. “We have to act, and people as individuals have to act responsibly. We need to social distance. We need to wear our face coverings.”
While Azar said the country as a whole is in a better situation now than it was a few months ago — because it has more testing and therapeutics to help treat COVID-19 — he’s also worried that hospitalization and death numbers are going to increase in the coming weeks. That’s because both of those numbers are lagging indicators.
As always, the concern isn’t just in the states that are experiencing the recent surges. Even states that are “on the exact opposite end” of the recent trend are worried that they could experience a resurgence of coronavirus as people from Florida, Texas, Arizona, California and other states come to visit.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who reported a death toll of five people on Saturday, “the lowest number have had had since this started,” continues to caution his residents not to let up just because numbers are improving. He said:
“I’m now afraid of the spread coming from other states because we are one country and people travel. I’m afraid the infection rate in the other states will come back to New York and raise that rate again.”
Democrats are pushing hard for a federal mandate that masks be worn, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying recently that it’s “long overdue.”
“And my understanding, that the Centers for Disease Control has recommended the use of masks, but not to demand — required it, because they don’t want to offend the president,” she said. “And the president should be an example. You know, real men wear masks. Be an example to the country and wear the mask.
“It’s not about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting others and their families.