Dr Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told The Washington Post that a resurgence of Covid-19 next winter could coincide with seasonal flu, resulting in health services being even more overburdened than they already have been. He said: “There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult that the one we just went through.
“And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean.”
He said that if seasonal flu and Covid-19 had hit at the same time, “it could have been really, really, really difficult in terms of health capacity.”
Dr Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN, explained that the coronavirus outbreak in the US this year had occurred “as flu season was starting to wane down.”
He said that flu season alone can take up hospital beds, adding: “you need a lot of those same resources that you would need for a coronavirus outbreak in this country.
“So both of those things coinciding would be of concern.”
Dr Redfield advised Americans to keep up to date on flu vaccinations in order to keep more hospital beds available for people who might catch Covid-19 in the winter.
And Dr Patrice Harris, President of the American Medical Association, echoed Dr Redfield’s comments in an interview with CNN.
She told the network: “If this virus acts like other viruses we could see a resurgence in the fall.”
But she said that she was also concerned about a second wave of Covid-19 infections coming even earlier than that due to some US states relaxing lockdown restrictions too early.
But despite the concerns, some states are facing protests by residents who are demanding that governors reopen their economies.
Reports generally agree that the protestors are concerned that the lockdown measures constitute an infringement on personal freedoms, while others are keen to return to work.
US President Donald Trump has expressed support for the rallies, which took place in Arizona, Colorado, Montana and Washington on Sunday and over a dozen in total.
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The crowd in Washington was estimated to contain as much as 2,500 people, with many seeming to ignore social distancing rules.
One protester told the BBC that the local community was struggling and that her husband “is on unemployment for the first time in our life,” adding “we have bills to pay.”
Another said she was tired of “not being able to buy the things that we need”.
Protests also took place in Michigan, where state governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a press briefing: “This kind of activity will put more people at risk.
“And sadly, it could prolong the amount of time we have to be in this posture.”
Acknowledging the protests, president Trump said during his White House briefing on Sunday that people “are allowed to protest”.
He said: “Some governors have gone too far – some of the things that happened are maybe not so appropriate.”
Mr Trump himself has expressed a keenness to open the US economy as soon as possible, as the US remains the worst-hit country in the world by Covid-19, with 818,744 confirmed cases , 45,318 deaths, and 82,923 recoveries on Tuesday, according to worldometer figures.
New York is the worst-hit state, currently with 207,269 active cases.
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