CDC Director: U.S. May Usher in “One of the Most Difficult Periods in Public Health” in Autumn and Winter

Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said the cold weather would usher in “one of the most difficult periods in public health” in the United States, according tomedia BGR. The number of new crown confirmed cases is still booming in most U.S. states, and only a few states, such as Michigan and New York, have seen a rapid decline in the number of new crown confirmed cases.

Across the South, and Florida in particular, the number of new crown confirmed cases is rising sharply. What’s more, Florida broke its record Tuesday, with 132 people dying from the coronavirus in one day, and it’s clear that the U.S. is still some way from truly defeating the outbreak. In turn, CDC Director Robert Redfield suggested earlier this week that people could see a surge in new cases later this fall as the cold weather begins to show up nationwide.

“Because OF THE COVID and the flu, I do think the fall and winter of 2020 and 2021 could be one of the most difficult periods we’ve ever had in the U.S. public health sector,” Redfield said in a live chat Tuesday. Redfield also said Americans need to start taking the issue of wearing masks more seriously.

Redfield and several other doctors recently wrote an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association advocating that people wear masks for all.

Covering the mouth and nose with filtermaterials has two purposes: personal protection against inhalation of harmful pathogens and particulate matter, and source control to prevent exposure to infectious microorganisms that may be discharged during breathing. When asked to wear a mask, many people think about it from a personal perspective. But masks are also widely and routinely used for source control. For example, if we choose to operate between a team that doesn’t wear some cover on our mouth and nose and a team that wears a covering, almost all patients will reject the former. This option seems absurd because it is well known that the use of masks in this case reduces the risk of infection at the surgical site caused by microorganisms produced during conversation or breathing by the surgical team. Masks play a similar role in blocking the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Third, the public needs a consistent, clear and attractive message to normalize community cover. At a critical time when COVID-19 is resurgent, the widespread use of cloth masks is a civic responsibility, a small sacrifice that relies on an efficient, low-tech solution that helps to turn the tide in the national and global efforts to combat COVID-19.