U.S. Surgeon General Urges Americans to Heed Warnings: ‘Act As If’ You ‘Have the Virus Right Now’

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U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams warned the coronavirus outbreak will get worse if citizens don’t take precautionary measures to curtail the spread.

“I want America to understand: This week it’s going to get bad,” Adams said at the beginning of an interview with “Today” on Monday, March 23. As host Savannah Guthrie noted, the urgency in Adams’ voice was noticeable.

Dr. Jerome Adams, Surgeon General of the United States (Photo credit: Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Adams criticized spring breakers for gathering at beaches and attendees who flocked to a cherry blossom festival in Washington, D.C.

“I think that there are a lot of people who are doing the right things. But I think that, unfortunately, we’re finding out a lot of people think this can’t happen to them,” he said.

The media has shared numerous pictures of large crowds lounging on the beach despite countless warnings to avoid congregating in public places. At least five University of Tampa students tested positive for the virus after they returned from a spring break trip, reported WINK.

The university switched to online instruction on March 10, but its residence halls have remained open.

Adams wants young people to realize they are not immune from the effects of the deadly virus and are endangering the lives of more vulnerable people.

“Everyone needs to act as if they have the virus right now,” he stated. “So, test or no test, we need you to understand you could be spreading it to someone else. Or you could be getting it from someone else. Stay at home.”

Guthrie asked Adams about Trump’s reluctance to use the Defense Production Act, which would authorize the government to require retailers to produce emergency supplies. The surgeon general confirmed the Trump administration has been in communication with brands such as 3M, Hanes and Honeywell.

“Here’s the thing that people don’t understand. You don’t need to compel someone to do something they are already doing,” he said.

He ended the interview with another warning.

“The other important point is that we’re not going to ventilator our way out of this problem. We’re not going to treat our way out of this problem,” Adams said. “The way you stop the spread of an infectious disease like this is with mitigation measures and preventing people from getting it in the first place.”

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