Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn said Sunday the United States appears to be ‘very close to its coronavirus peak’.
‘The models do show that we are very close to the peak. So I think that information is accurate’, the FDA commissioner said Sunday.
Hahn said May 1 ‘is a target’ in terms of lifting the nationwide lockdowns but also warned: ‘This has been a really fast-moving outbreak, so we really have to take this day by day. I think the public safety and the welfare of the American people has to come first.’
Americans spent Easter Sunday on lockdown as the U.S. toll from the novel coronavirus pandemic surpassed 21,700 deaths and more than half a million confirmed cases.
Graphs created by researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics shows the country is two days away from its peak when 1,983 deaths are projected.
Hahn told This Week: ‘ [May1] is a target and obviously we’re hopeful about that target but I think it’s just too early to be able to tell that we see light at the end of the tunnel. I think it’s just too early for us to say whether May 1 is that date.
‘Further ramping up testing, both diagnostic as well as the antibody tests, will really be necessary as we move beyond May and into the summer months and into the fall.’
Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn said Sunday the United States appears to be ‘very close to its coronavirus peak’. ‘The models do show that we are very close to the peak. So I think that information is accurate’, the FDA commissioner said Sunday
Graphs created by researchers from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics shows the country is two days away from its peak when 1,983 deaths are projected
The United States has recorded more fatalities from the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus than any other country in the world.
Roughly 2,000 deaths a day were reported for the last four days in a row, the largest number in and around New York City. Even that is viewed as understated, as New York is still figuring out how best to include a surge in deaths at home in its official statistics.
The sweeping restrictions on non-essential movement that were imposed in recent weeks across 42 states have taken a huge toll on commerce and raised questions over how long business closures and travel curbs can be sustained.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits in the last three weeks surpassed 16 million.
The FDA’s Hahn said he was concerned that some antibody tests on the market that had not gone through the FDA scientific review process ‘may not be as accurate as we’d like them to be.’
‘I can assure the American people that what we’re doing is using data and science to look at those tests to make sure that they’re valid, they’re accurate and they’re reproducible,’ he said.
‘What we don’t want are wildly inaccurate tests,’ he said. ‘That’s going to be much worse, having wildly inaccurate tests than having no test.’
The lack of adequate testing has hampered the U.S. response to the pandemic, which has killed more than 21,600 people in the country and infected more than half a million.
The FDA is working with developers around the country to try to ramp up diagnostic testing, Hahn said on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press.’ ‘So all hands on deck to try to get more diagnostic tests in.’
The FDA has approved one antibody test and Hahn warned that some other tests on the market may not be accurate.
In recent days, U.S. public health experts and some governors have pointed to signs that the country is starting to see a turnaround in the fight against the outbreak.
From left, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn attend a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House
President Donald J. Trump listens to Stephen Hahn, Commissioner, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) speak at the coronavirus briefing at the White House
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top U.S. infectious disease expert, said he was cautiously optimistic and pointed to the New York metropolitan area, which had its highest daily death toll last week but also saw a decrease in hospitalizations, intensive care admissions and the need to intubate critically ill patients.
‘Once you turn that corner, hopefully you’ll see a very sharp decline and then you can start thinking about how we can keep it that way,’ Fauci said on CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’
‘If all of a sudden we decide ‘OK, it’s May whatever,’ and we just turn the switch on, that could be a real problem.’
Fauci and other public health experts say widespread testing will be key to efforts to reopen the economy, including antibody tests to find out who has already had the disease and could be safe to return to work.
New government data shows a summer surge in infections if stay-at-home orders are lifted after only 30 days, according to projections first reported by the New York Times and confirmed by a Department of Homeland Security official.