WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As coronavirus cases surge, reaching record highs across the nation, public health officials are warning the public to stay vigilant and keep holiday gatherings small to slow the spread.
“The safest way to spend Thanksgiving this year is with the immediate members of your household,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams.
He said the daily number of reported infections has tripled in the last 30 days and warned that if Americans don’t take heed of health officials’ guidance, hospitals could be pushed to their breaking points in the coming weeks.
“We need to recognized the urgency and the severity of the moment,” Adams said. “At some point, the demand outstrips the supply if you don’t control these record cases, which turn into record hospitalizations, which consume (personal protective equipment) and beds.”
Lawmakers whose regions are seeing rocketing coronavirus rates are calling on President Donald Trump to issue the same warning to get more people on board with mitigation measures.
“The positive rates are just exploding all over Kansas City, all over Missouri. … We’ve got to have some very strong policy,” Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said.
“We need him to step up and put a mask mandate in order,” Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, said.
While there’s no indication that will happen, even Republicans like Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois want the president to get back in the game, saying Trump “need to be more vocal.”
The surgeon general wouldn’t comment on that point.
“That’s not for me to say,” he said. “We know there are people who listen to the president, there are people who listen to Joe Biden and there are people who listen to folks in their local community.”
The safest way to gather, Adams said, is virtually or with small groups outdoors, staying 6 feet apart and wearing masks.