U.S. assistant secretary of health, Brett Giroir, has warned of an impending “draconian measures” if the public do not take safety precautions on coronavirus seriously.
Giroir said in an interview on NBC’s TODAY show Wednesday that the nation is at “critical point” in the response to the pandemic.
The United States averaged more than 71,000 cases per day over the past week, bringing the nationwide count to over 8,850,000, according to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Worldometers.info in its own data said the number of infections has reached 9,121,800, as at 1000GMT Thursday.
Giroir said the US can still control the virus by observing social distancing, wearing masks and being cautious about small indoor gatherings.
If Americans do not follow those measures, he warned, “it may force local officials or government officials in the states to have more draconian measures because cases will go up if we don’t make a change.”
The official debunked President Donald Trump’s repeated claims that growing testing is the reason for surging cases.
On the contrary, Giroir said the virus is becoming more widespread.
He also called on the country to bolster testing capacity.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, urged efforts earlier this week to “stop the politicization of COVID-19.
“Where there has been political division at the national level; where there has been blatant disrespect for science and health professionals, confusion has spread and cases and deaths have mounted,” he added.
The United States has already recorded over 232,000 COVID-19 related deaths.