KEY POINTS

  • U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned that the spread of COVID-19 will be worse during his interview on the "Today" show
  • Adams said there were still too many people not taking the coronavirus seriously, which led to the kind of rapid spread seen in New York City
  • He assured medical manufacturers were at "max production" trying to keep hospitals and medical centers supplied

The U.S. Surgeon General on Monday warned that the COVID-19 pandemic will “get bad,” warning that other cities could become as bad as New York City if people don’t take the virus seriously enough.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams appeared on NBC's “Today” to speak about the spread of COVID-19 and steps needed to be taken to stop the spread with host Savannah Guthrie. He got straight to the point, saying that “I want America to understand: this week, it’s going to get bad. We really need to come together as a nation.”

Adams urged Americans to stay at home. 

Adams specifically points to the apparent lack of thought given by people, especially young people, who have still been seen gathering on beaches and parks across the U.S. This has been seen consistently in Florida, where vacationers on spring break have been seen online still going to beaches in large groups over the last few weeks.

“We see here in D.C., the district set up a cam to watch the cherry blossoms,” Adams said. “You look on the cam, you see more people walking around than cherry blossoms.”

Adams points out that there are “a lot of people” who have followed guidelines by choosing to self-quarantine and practicing social distancing if they need to go out. However, he said that there are just as many people who “think this can’t happen to them.”

“It’s important for people to know: you can get this disease, you can be hospitalized from this disease [and] you can die from this disease,” Adams said. “But most importantly you can spread it to your loved ones. So we need you to really lean in.”

Adams referenced New York City, which has become an epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S., as an example of what could happen if people don’t take the pandemic seriously.

“We don’t want Dallas or New Orleans or Chicago to turn into the next New York,” Adams said. “It means everyone needs to be taking the right steps right now. And that means stay at home.”

Adams was later pressed on hospitals and medical centers “begging” for more supplies to treat the rapidly increasing number of cases. He insisted that while President Trump hasn’t used the Defense Production Act that was activated Wednesday, manufacturers are already at “max production” to try and meet demands.

The comments from Adams follow Trump’s statements Sunday that rejected calls from state officials and hospitals to directly use the Defense Production Act to ramp up production. Trump said invoking the act provided his administration leverage to negotiate with companies to increase production and to avoid “nationalizing” industries in a manner similar to Venezuela.

“We're a country not based on nationalizing our business. Call a person over in Venezuela,” Trump told reporters. “How did nationalization of their businesses work out? Not too well.”

coronavirus how long does the virus stay in the air coronavirus how long does the virus stay in the air Photo: OrnaW - Pixabay