“I don’t think it’s going to cost much to really bring us back to 70,000 cases a day,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
To avoid further increases in cases and hospitalizations similar to those following the Great Memorial Day and July 4th celebrations, many chose to skip the crowds for the long weekend. Others weren’t that careful.
“In general, I thought the amount went down this summer by the time we hit Labor Day weekend,”
“We are facing a difficult season,” said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, on CBS ‘Face the Nation.
“We are going into autumn and winter when we would expect a respiratory pathogen such as a coronavirus to spread more aggressively than in summer.”
The new challenges ahead of us
For Americans, exhausted from the changed reality and ongoing restrictions on protection from Covid-19, it seems like a big job staying vigilant. Given the cooler weather, many of the gatherings that are already taking place – many against the advice of experts – are likely to be moved indoors, where health officials say the virus will be easier to spread.
Before a vaccine, masks are still the most effective remedy for the virus, according to doctors, and universities across the country are using masks to help contain its transmission. But with tens of thousands of students on campus, the institutions face massive challenges.
“We will not be able to tell immediately whether someone suffers from the flu or whether someone suffers from Covid,” says Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, Technical Director of the World Health Organization Covid-19.
Expert: Vaccine “unlikely” for widespread use in the US
Despite the hopeful message from the president that an effective vaccine could be available by Election Day, Gottlieb said the likelihood that a vaccine for widespread use will be available in the US this year is “extremely slim”.
“I think we have to think of this largely as an event of 2021. If we have a vaccine available in 2020, it will likely be used in a much more targeted manner – almost in a therapeutic sense, to protect very high levels.” Populations at risk, “Gottlieb told CBS.
Several experts have confirmed the claim that a vaccine is expected to be available later this year or early next year. According to US General Surgeon Dr. Jerome Adams, however, states should be ready to distribute a vaccine by November 1, “just in case” one is ready.
“We always said we were hoping for a vaccine by the end of this year or early next year,” Adams told ABC News last week. “That said, it’s not just about having a vaccine that is safe and effective – it’s about being ready to distribute it.”
CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said earlier this month it was easy preparation.
“For now, I’m going to say that we are seriously preparing for what I expect in reality … that one or more vaccines will be available to us in November and December – and we need to figure out how to ensure that distributed in a fair and equitable manner across the country, “Redfield told Yahoo Finance.
CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas, Jamie Gumbrecht, Maggie Fox and Jacqueline Howard contributed to this report.