CDC Director Robert Redfield said Monday morning that the availability of swift testing for COVID-19 is crucial before reopening the economy.
After telling “Today Show” anchor Savannah Guthrie that we are nearing the peak of coronavirus cases and that there’s some stabilization in COVID-19 cases across the country, Redfield argued that “there’s no doubt that we have to reopen correctly.” That would involve a “step-by-step gradual process” that is data-driven, he said.
When asked whether President Trump’s hope to reopen the country by May 1 is conceivable, Redfield emphasized the importance of looking at the country as many different situations.
“This pandemic has affected different parts of the country differently,” Redfield said. “We’re looking at the data very carefully — county by county by county — and we will be assessing that.”
Redfield added that “clearly” what needs to happen for the reopening is keeping track of numbers of new cases, early case identification, isolation and contact tracing, as well medical and hospital capacity.
“And really start working to build confidence in the community so it has confidence to reopen,” Redfield said.
Redfield also urged for the “aggressive” implementation of widespread antibody testing, which he said is “central to the success” of the economy staying open to “prevent the opportunity for community transmission to come back into the system.”
Last week, Redfield’s prediction that there will be a “much lower” COVID-19 death toll than what the Trump administration previously projected prompted Fox News hosts to claim victory over the COVID-19 outbreak.
Watch Redfield’s remarks below:
“We are nearing the peak right now.” Watch @CDCDirector’s full interview with @savannahguthrie about if he thinks we’ve hit the peak of the coronavirus yet, when the country could start reopening and much more. pic.twitter.com/hZdWDKSbSb
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 13, 2020