While coronavirus continues to spread across the nation, a top health official is warning the U.S. could have the “worst fall ever” unless everyone adheres to safety protocols.
“For your country right now and for the war that we're in against Covid, I'm asking you to do four simple things: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and be smart about crowds," Redfield said.
He added: "I'm not asking some of America to do it. We all gotta do it."
If the CDC recommendations aren’t followed, Redfield warned the consequences could be devastating.
“But if we don't do that, as I said last April, this could be the worst fall from a public health perspective [that] we've ever had,” he said.
Redfield also said getting a flu shot is a fifth thing Americans can do to stay healthy amid the pandemic. Last year, only 47% of people received the flu vaccine.
“This is a year that I’m asking people to really think deep down about getting the flu vaccine,” Redfield noted.
On the bright side, Redfield is “cautiously optimistic” that a vaccine will become available by the end of the year.
“No one can predict scientific success, but we think from a scientific threshold, developing a COVID vaccine is not as complex as … an HIV vaccine,” he said. “I’m very optimistic that we’re going to have one or more vaccines available.”
As of Thursday, the U.S. has reported more than 5.2 million positive cases of COVID-19, with at least 166,956 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.