Surgeon general: Expect more coronavirus deaths, but don’t panic

The country will see more coronavirus cases and deaths — but that doesn’t mean Americans should panic, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Sunday.

“Initially we had a posture of containment so that we could give people time to prepare for where we are right now,” Adams said on said on CNN’s State of the Union. “Now we’re shifting into a mitigation phase, which means that we’re helping communities understand you’re going to see more cases. Unfortunately, you’re going to see more deaths, but that doesn’t mean that we should panic.”

“It means that we should take the things that we know work for individuals to protect themselves and make sure everyone is doing those things, like washing your hands frequently, like covering your cough, like staying home if you’re sick and not being around people who are sick,” Adams said.

Adams told host Jake Tapper he believes the virus is contained in certain parts of the US, saying “we actually feel pretty good that some parts of the country have contained it just like when you look at the flu.”

But, he said, “communities need to be thinking about things like should we be canceling large gatherings, what are our telework policies, should we be closing schools.”

“And it’s going to be different in Seattle than what it’s going to be in Jackson, Mississippi,” Adams said. “But communities need to have that conversation and prepare for more deaths.”

There are now more than 400 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus in the US and 105 in New York state as of Sunday, prompting Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency.

The new coronavirus strain, believed to have originated in China in December, has now infected more than 107,000 people throughout the world, killing more than 3,600 so far.

President Trump said Sunday that the White House has a “perfectly coordinated” plan to fight the virus.

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