Officials are warning that the worst of the coronavirus is definitely not over.
"The fall could be incredibly gruesome," Yale School of Medicine epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves told Politico on Thursday. COVID-19 is still spreading rapidly, and coupled with colder weather that will push people indoors and coincide with flu season, it could make for an entirely new round of brutal months.
Gonsalves said he didn't understand why the Trump administration didn't take advantage of the summer months to tamp down on swirling outbreaks. Squandering this key period means the country is in no better shape than it was a few months ago when the initial spike slowly began to flatten. "Somebody's going to have to explain it to me, 10 years from now, why they would make all these bad choices," Gonsalves said.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield, meanwhile, says "this could be the worst fall from a public health perspective we've ever had." He urged Americans to wear masks and socially distance.
On Wednesday, the U.S. reported 1,493 coronavirus deaths, the highest single-day total since mid-May. Despite the increasingly grim outlook, Politico reports the Trump administration is feeling good. "Aides are increasingly assured about their response — feeling like they're finally getting a handle on how to fight the disease," the report reads. But one anonymous senior Republican said "I don't feel like they kind of know what 'under control' would look like."