COVID Testing Czar Warns Country Is In ‘Absolutely Dangerous Situation’

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 23: Adm. Brett P. Giroir, U.S. assistant secretary for health, testifies at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.... WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 23: Adm. Brett P. Giroir, U.S. assistant secretary for health, testifies at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on September 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. The committee is examining the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Alex Edelman-Pool/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 18, 2020 5:10 p.m.
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Adm. Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of health who leads the government’s COVID testing efforts, sounded the alarm on Wednesday that the country is in an “absolutely dangerous situation” as COVID-19 cases continue surging ahead of the holiday season.

During an interview on MSNBC on Wednesday, Giroir said that both COVID-19 hospitalizations and fatalities being up by 25% week over week means that the country is “not going in the right direction.”

Giroir stressed that the country is at an “absolutely critical, dangerous point” as he urged the public to wear a mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19 because it’s “the only way we get out of this” until there’s a vaccine for the pandemic that has killed more than 249,000 Americans thus far.

“Right now, we are in an absolutely dangerous situation that we have to take with the utmost seriousness,” Giroir said. “This is not crying wolf. This is the worst rate of rise in cases that we’ve seen in the pandemic in the United States and right now there’s no sign of flattening.”

Giroir reiterated that the public needs to be “incredibly concerned.”

“We all have to be incredibly concerned. We all have to be diligent,” Giroir said. “We have to make clear choices, to wear our masks, to physically distance, and try to make a better choice every single day about where you’re going to gather, how you’re going to gather, and how you’re going to protect the vulnerable.”

Giroir’s remarks comes on the heels of both Pfizer and Moderna announcing that their COVID-19 vaccines could be more than 90% effective, which the COVID testing czar said is “very positive” news. But he made clear that neither vaccine in development will resolve the ongoing crisis of surging cases nationwide.

According to the COVID Tracking Project, 1,100 Americans on average are dying of COVID-19 daily.

Watch Giroir’s remarks below:

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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