U.S. Surgeon General on COVID-19: 'It's Going to Get Bad' 

April 08, 2020 by Alec Stone MA, MPA, Former ONS Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy

Deployed to provide expert medical advice about the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams (https://www.hhs.gov/about/leadership/jerome-adams/index.html), MD, made media rounds the first week of April 2020. Although the news he shared wasn’t positive, it was a necessary message that the United States needed to hear.

“We really need to come together as a nation,” Adams said (https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/03/23/820101589/surgeon-general-tells-u-s-this-week-it-s-going-to-get-bad). “I want Americans to understand that this week it’s going to get bad.”  

Because not nearly enough people were maintaining social distancing, the surgeon general pleaded with Americans to stay home to prevent spreading COVID-19 throughout their region. He said that people were not taking seriously the precautions that the public health community (https://www.coronavirus.gov/) was outlining to stop COVID-19 transmissions and flatten the curve of the virus.  

“According to our best projections, combined with information on the ground, the availability of precious medical resources (https://voice.ons.org/news-and-views/healthcare-industry-relies-on-public-amid-covid-19-ppe-supply-shortage) will be limited because of the numbers of patients and their severity of illness,” Adams said in a March 31, 2020, statement (https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/optimizing-ventilator-use-during-covid19-pandemic.pdf).  

Adams is featured on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/USGOVHHS/videos), where he’s been providing viewers with COVID-19 safety precautions.  

"I think there are a lot of people who are doing the right things, but I think that unfortunately we are finding out a lot of people think this can't happen to them," Adams said.  

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