Giroir Won’t Rule Out More Restrictions As COVID-19 Cases Surge: ‘Everything Should Be On Table’

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 2: U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services (HHS) Admiral Brett P. Giroir appears at a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on "The Administration Response t... WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 2: U.S. Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Services (HHS) Admiral Brett P. Giroir appears at a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on "The Administration Response to Ongoing Shortages of PPE and Critical Medical Supplies" on Capitol Hill on July 2, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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July 12, 2020 4:36 p.m.

Assistant Secretary of Health Adm. Brett Giroir on Sunday couldn’t deny the possibility of states issuing stricter coronavirus-related restrictions in light of spikes in cases across the country.

When asked during an interview on ABC News Sunday morning about whether it’s time to consider more stringent lockdowns in states experiencing surges in coronavirus cases — which include Florida, South Carolina, Arizona, Texas and Georgia — Giroir replied that “everything should be on the table.”

“Closing bars is an important thing, limiting the capacity of restaurants is an important thing,” Giroir said. “These are two measures that need to be done. They really do need to be done.”

Giroir added that in order to “reverse this problem,” about 90% of people in coronavirus hotspot areas must wear masks in public spaces.

Giroir concluded that the country is “not out of this at all,” and that “we’re all very concerned” despite “the leveling of what we call the percent positive” in the past week.

“That’s our sort of first indicator that if that levels, we’re going to start seeing emergency rooms drop, hospitalizations drop,” Giroir said. “I’m not saying that’s going to happen, but I’m saying the measures that we have right now indicate that we’re in —we have a lot of cases right now, but the measures we’re doing may be putting the lid on that.”

Watch Giroir’s remarks on ABC News below:

Giroir shared similar remarks during his appearance on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning.

When pressed on calls for another shutdown to slow the spread of COVID-19, Giroir first said “I don’t think we need to shut down, at least in most places around the country” but would go on to concede that it may be necessary in areas that have emerged as coronavirus hot spots recently.

“Our models really show that if you close down bars, where there’s a lot of transmission, if you decrease restaurant capacity to about 50 percent, that you really strictly physically distance, and really, everybody, if you’re out in public, we have to have about 95% mask-wearing or face coverings,” Giroir said. “If we do just those simple things, we can bring that our R-value, that transmissibility value down to below one, which means it goes away.”

Giroir added that “we need to be very selective” regarding coronavirus-related restrictions but agreed that “if we shut everything down again, that would do it.”

Watch Giroir’s remarks on MSNBC below:

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