“For your country now and for the fight we are against Covid, I’m asking you to do four simple things: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and be smart about the crowds,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I’m not asking some of America to do it,” he told WebMD. “We all have to do it.”
Without following the recommendations, this could be “the worst decline, from a public health perspective we have ever had,” he said. In addition to taking measures to fight the pandemic, people should also get a flu vaccine.
“By being vaccinated, you can protect your children,”; he said. “When we see the mortality we see with the flu, one thing is for sure. Children who are vaccinated, they are basically protected from death.”
The CDC has purchased 10 million doses of flu vaccine for uninsured adults this year, compared to the typical 500,000 doses. For coronavirus vaccines, Redfield is cautiously optimistic one or more vaccines will be ready by early 2021.
Anti-vaxxers repeat conspiracy theories
There is 270 active trials for coronavirus treatments, experts say.
And anti-vaccineers have taken to social media to spread lies about the upcoming coronavirus vaccine. Some include claims that it contains monkey brains or that it is a CIA plot to take over the world. Others claim the vaccine will include an invisible traceable tattoo or disfigure those who receive it.
As the lies spread, the multi-billion dollar vaccinated government effort has yet to launch a public education campaign to counter the propaganda.
“We are here,” said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. “We did not do a good job of getting information (coronavirus vaccine) there.”
Shares are high. One-third of Americans said they would not be vaccinated against the coronavirus, even if the vaccine is widely available and low-cost, according to a CNN poll in May.
“Speaking for myself, I think I underestimated the level of public resistance,” Collins said. “I did not expect it to be so prevalent.”
Dr Tina Hartert from Vanderbilt University Medical Center said a lack of confidence in the vaccine could lead to major outbreaks. She described government communication on the vaccine as crucial.
“We should have started this month earlier, but it’s never too late to start this important message. Because otherwise the message people will hear is the story of a child from another parent,” Hartert told Anderson Cooper of CNN.
Over 2,000 people quarantined as they reopen schools
Coronavirus continues to spread rapidly in the South, Midwest and West – although the overall number of new cases has declined following a summer increase.
Nationwide, over the past seven days, the United States has averaged about 53,000 new cases per day, up 11% from a week ago. As teachers and parents clash over starting personal classes, some schools that have reopened have seen new cases.
In Georgia, just outside Atlanta, more than 1,100 students, teachers and staff at the Cherokee County School District are under quarantine due to dozens of positive cases or Covid-19 exposure. The schools reopened 10 days ago.
In Florida, a day after Martin County School District reopened for in-person teaching, an entire elementary school classroom and a bus lane were quarantined after a student showed symptoms of coronavirus, spokeswoman Jennifer DeShazo said Wednesday.
Several states including Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma and Indiana reported cases of teachers, students, and sports players testing positive for coronavirus. In the Oklahoma Public School District, 33 employees tested positive last week, said Superintendent Janet Vinson.
President Donald Trump said the federal government will provide up to 125 million masks for school districts nationwide.
Average of over 1,000 deaths per day for 17 days
Deaths from the virus have remained high.
The seven-day average of daily coronavirus deaths was over 1,000 on Wednesday, the 17th day in a row, the U.S. averaged over 1,000 deaths per day.
On Wednesday, health officials in Florida reported more than 8,000 new case reports and 212 new deaths.
CNN’s Joe Sutton, Rosa Flores and Sara Weisfeldt contributed to this report.