The U.S. coronavirus resurgence will “in the coming weeks” begin topping 100,000 new infections every day, public health expert Dr. Ashish Jha warned Tuesday.
“We’re rising quickly,” Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“If we just go back about six, seven weeks ago to Labor Day, we were at about 35,000 cases a day,” Jha noted. “We’re above 70,000 and just heading up. So, I would not be surprised if we end up getting to 100,000.”
Jha said hitting the grim landmark figure could be avoided “if we do some prudent things” aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus, such as social distancing and wearing face masks.
“But it doesn’t feel like there’s just enough policy impetus to act as we need to,” he added. “And so I’m worried we’re going to hit 100,000 in a day at some point in the coming weeks.”
Blitzer agreed. “We need some national leadership to tell people you got to wear masks and we’re not getting that national leadership right now,” he said.
President Donald Trump intentionally misled the public at the start of the pandemic by downplaying the risk of the virus, while in private he acknowledged its threat. He has mostly refused to wear a mask and continues holding campaign rallies with mostly maskless fans. He was hospitalized for coronavirus treatment for three days earlier this month.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Sunday that the U.S. is “not going to control” the pandemic, but instead would “control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas.”
Almost 227,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19 and about 8.7 million have been sickened.
Check out the interview here:
“It is a total failure of our political leadership that we still don’t have testing fixed, we still don’t have the kind of therapeutics widely available,” Dr. Ashish Jha says. “That’s why we’re left with the social distancing and mask wearing.” pic.twitter.com/Fynx20mRQG
— CNN (@CNN) October 28, 2020
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.