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The FDA Chief Just Issued This Dire Warning About COVID-19

"People need to take it seriously," he said.
Female patient in oxygen mask sleeping, nurse standing by, surgery preparation

On a weekend filled with conflicting information about the coronavirus, Stephen Hahn, the Food and Drug Administration commissioner, appeared on CNN's State of the Union to cut through the noise. A member of the Coronavirus Task Force, he called COVID-19 and the recent spike in cases "a serious problem that we have." "We must do something to stem the tide," he said, "And we have this in our power to do it by following the guidance in the White House task force and the CDC."

"People need to take it seriously," he added. The United States has had nearly 3 million cases—with a record 50,544 added yesterday—and 132,000 deaths. Cases are spiking in Texas, Arizona, Florida and many other states.

Hahn refused to defend or deny President Donald Trump's remarks over the 4th of July holiday that the virus is under control and that 99% of coronavirus cases "are totally harmless." "I'm not going to get into who is right and who is wrong," he said, adding: "I totally support the CDC and the information that they're putting out with respect to this pandemic."

"Any Death, Any Case is Tragic"

Although cases in the U.S. are rising, the death rate is staying stable, with experts warning that may not be the case for long. "While the World Health Organization has said the global fatality rate is likely less than 1%, the WHO also said about 20% of all people who are diagnosed with coronavirus are sick enough to need oxygen or hospital care," reports CNN. The CDC recommends people "Take steps to care for yourself and help protect others in your home and community."

Hahn is concerned about the numbers. "Well, what I'd say is, you know, any case, we don't want to have in this country," he said. "This is a very rapidly moving epidemic, rapidly-moving pandemic. And any death, any case is tragic. And we want to do everything we can to prevent that."

More Than 130,000 COVID-19 Deaths

President Trump on Saturday said the country has made "a lot of progress" against COVID-19. "Now we have tested over 40 million people," he said. "But by so doing, we show cases, 99 percent of which are totally harmless. Results that no other country will show, because no other country has testing that we have—not in terms of the numbers or in terms of the quality." 

"But Trump's claims belie the fact that the death and hospitalization rates for the virus total far more than 1 percent of cases," counters NBC News. "There have been more than 130,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. out of more than 2.8 million confirmed cases— around 4 percent—compounded with hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations."

"You know, I understand he has a tough job, but it is dangerous not to be sending a clear message to Americans, to folks in my town," Austin Mayor Steve Adler, a Democrat, said on State of the Union. "We have the July 4 weekend, and we need everybody wearing masks. And when they start hearing that kind of ambiguous message coming out of Washington, there are more and more people that won't wear masks, that won't social distance, that won't do what it takes to keep a community safe. And that's wrong, and it's dangerous."

As for yourself: wear a well-fitted homemade mask with multiple layers of quilting fabric, or an off-the-shelf cone style mask; practice social distancing; wash your hands frequently; monitor your health; and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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