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Surgeon general on COVID-19: The power to stop this is in the hands of the American people

2020-07-20 | 🔗
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams tells 'Fox & Friends' that freedom comes with a responsibility to wear face coverings.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
President Trump responds to President Trump responds to criticism of over his 4r57bd ling of the Covid 19 pandemic in exclusive sitdown, with Chris Wallace. You saw it yesterday now since June. It has gone up more than doubled one day this week. Seventy five thousand new cases more than double Chris thats, because we have great great test the best testing in the world. If we didnt test you wouldnt be able to show the chart, this isnt burning embers this is, is a forest fire put out flames and, in some cases, burning embers cases, burning, embers, Ainsley, the Deaths140000 case Nationwide Griff Kentucky setting a single day high for the state, after reporting, nine hundred and seventy nine cases on Sunday, we now want to bring in surgeon general, Dr Jerome Adams. Thank you, Dr Adams, for joining us today. Where are the latest area of concerns?
Where are the spikes and whats being done to combat them good morning? Thank you so much for having me its important for everyone to know that first off, we are seeing increase in cases in many spots across the country, but were in a very different place than we were in February and in March we have increased testing. We have topped forty million tests. We have increased personal, progressive equipment treatments like remdesivir and steroids important for people to know we dont want to treat our way out of the problem. We want to prevent the problem. The power to stop this epidemic is in the hands of the american people. This administration really fights to protect our freedoms, but we want people to know. Freedom comes with responsibility, part of that responsibility means wearing a face covering when you go out, washing your hands, trying to watch your distance around other people. We know those are the keys for preventing cases, so those then dont turn into hospitalizations and unfortunately turn into people dying. The one other point I would make
is that the mortality rate is significantly lower now than what it was in February and in March, so those cases dont have to equal consequences, but as surgeon general, I would rather us focus on prevention. Ainsley talking about prevention, lets talk about mask the President says: is he a believer in masks, but he stopped short on the national mandate? What do you as the surgeon general say? I have heard Republicans saying I support the president, but I think that he should do a national mandate. I have heard Republicans say dont tell me what I have to do. Dont tell me: I need to wear a mask. What do you say? In many cases we are letting the politics and the policy get in the way of the actual practice. I want everyone to know that the science tells us right now that, with the high degree of Stom particular spread up to, fifty percent of people are spreading coronavirus without knowing that they have it thats. What asymptomatic or preasymptomatic means that face coverings are a way that we can reopen and that we can stay hope. Thats what the science says now people are debating over whether or not you want to have
a mandate. Yall were talking earlier, whats going on in Portland and the debate over whether we should bring in federal troops to other parts of the United States. If you are going to have a federal mandate, you have to have a federal enforcement mechanism right now. As scientist and educator, I would rather help people understand why they should cooperate with wearing a mask and how they benefit from it versus simply saying we are going to force you to do it particularly sending in federal troops and using federal mechanism. If you are going to have a mandate, those work best at the local and state levels, where you again have the ability to work with people, educate them and not let them feel like there is outside entity trying to tell them what to do where people very much rely on their freedom. That freedom comes with responsibility. As I said, Steve Country of France and England decided national mandates only way to control it. Your name came up, Mr Surgeon general. Over the weekend. In the presidents conversation for the folks who heard it and those who did not presidents
conversations on masks, will you consider a national mandate on people wearing masks? No, I want people to have a certain freedom and I dont believe in that. I dont agree with the statement that if everybody wore a mask, everybody disappears. Dr Fauci said: dont wear a mask. Our surgeon, general terrific guy, said dont wear activistma, everybody said dont wear a mask. Now, all of a sudden, everybody has got to wear a mask. With that being said, im a believer in masks. I think masks are good. I leave it up to the governors. Many of the governors are changing. They are more mask in to they like the concept of masks, but some of them dont agree Steve, Mr Surgeon General. I have heard that criticism of you and Dr Fauci, you know look. They got things wrong in the beginning, they said dont wear a mask and then later you said, wear a cloth mask explain for us why you did say dont wear a mask in the beginning, but then that evolved. Well, I just want to back up really quickly. You mentioned France and England important to note there was a
New York Times article that came out just this weekend, showing: U Dot s mask compliance, one of the things we are focusing on people arent wearing face coverings. The United States actually has a high degree of mask compliance. Our rates are better than France and better than England, and better than Tijuana and Norway and Finland. According to that New York Times, article a lot of people are doing the right thing again in the beginning and as the president pointed out, we were wrong back in February and March, based on the fact that we didnt think there would be this high of degree of asymptomatic, spread of coronavirus and thats based on every past coronavirus, where most of the spread was by people who had symptoms who had fever, who had cough once we realized that the science was different for this virus. We changed our recommendations, as the president said. This whole administration is supportive of masks. The part that people arent focusing on which they should the president said said. I support masks. He was at Walter Reed last week and he wore a mask
moving forward. I want people to understand were all on the same page. We believe these are one of the most effective ways to open our country along with again making sure we are practicing social, distancing and good Hygiene Steve, Mr Surgeon general. Let me follow up on that. We heard from Dr Redfield a number of times over the last couple of days where he said if people wore masks, essentially, if everybody wore a mask when they are around other people and they cant socially distance between four and six weeks. We wouldnt have to worry about this because the infection rate would be driven down so far because we wouldnt be spreading it from person to person. You know, arrests, the president looks at his poll numbers and clearly the coronavirus is taking its poll on that. If people actually did that the number of people who were suffering from coronavirus in a month or a month and a half would be where well great question, and I think a lot of people are taking Dr Redfields comments and whittle ling them down. The totality of what he believes and we all believe its about wearing face coverings, its again about making sure you are
maintaining that six feet of distancing about making sure restaurants indoors are less than fifty percent whenever possible that we are doing this in total and, as DR best of my recollection says, if we do all of these things, we know we can significantly turn things around in the course of a matter of weeks to under two months. The disease course is about two weeks. That means things can get really bad really fast, but also means they can improve really quickly, and I said that in two to three weeks we can turn around this rise in cases that we see in many places and as Dr Redfield says, if we do masks plus all the other things I mentioned, then in four to six weeks, two months, we can completely turn this around. I think we are all on the same page Steve seems pretty simple to me. It is pretty simple again: it relies on the individual people of America, doing the right thing and thats. Why im pleading with your viewers im begging? You please understand that we are
not trying to take away your freedoms when we say wear a face covering. We are not trying to take away your ability to go out when we say keep restaurant capacity under fifty percent. We are saying: if we do these things, we can actually open and stay open. We can get back to school, to worship, to jobs. We can do this im a hopeless optimist. I really do believe that Americans will do the right thing and that again we are focused because of politics on who is not, but more people are wearing face coverings. A lot of people are doing the right thing. The government is here to support. We are sending teens into the problem areas to help them understand what they need to do in places like Phoenix and places like Miami and places like Houston. So that again we can turn around these burning fires, but then also make sure the rest of the country is doing the things to open and stay open, Ainsley all right, Dr Adams. Thank you for being with us. Thank you for having me, as always shout out to my mother, who loves Ainsley.
Transcript generated on 2020-07-21.