WASHINGTON — A member of the White House coronavirus task force stressed that the increase in U.S. COVID-19 cases isn’t just because of more testing.
Admiral Brett Giroir says the proof of the increase is the uptick in hospitalizations and deaths nationwide from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
"We are at another critical point in the pandemic response," Biroir said on the Today Show Wednesday. "As you pointed out, cases are going up in most states across the country, hospitalizations are up, although we're still tens of thousands of hospitalizations below where we were in July. But that is rising."
President Donald Trump has been saying the U.S. is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic. The president also contends the news media spends too much time focused on the health crisis.
Giroir was put in charge of coronavirus testing by President Trump. He is urging people to continue following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on preventing the spread of the virus by social distancing and staying at least 6 feet away from others, wearing a mask or face covering and washing your hands often.
Giroir says a safe and effective vaccine is “around the corner.”
"We are taking this very seriously," Giroir said. "We have the tools to combat this, we can control it, but this is a very important time to do it."
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
The United States has more than 8.7 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
As of Wednesday, the U.S. had more than 226,000 deaths from the virus. Worldwide, there are more than 44 million confirmed cases with more than 1.1 million deaths.