Despite a COVID-19 case count upward of 24 million in the United States, along with a steady growth in coronavirus related deaths, a medical expert said the U.S. now has an opportunity to “get a hold of the pandemic.”, CNN reported.
“We’re going to see a lot of deaths in the next two months but there is a ray of sunshine,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a George Washington University medical professor and CNN medical analyst, said Monday on “New Day.”
“Over the last four days for the first time in months, we’ve seen a steady decline … a thousand per day fewer hospitalizations in the United States,” he said. “We’ve seen the same trend in new cases.”
Nationally, hospitalizations are now around 124,000 per day, down from 132,000 a few weeks ago. Reiner also said testing has increased in recent weeks, but test positivity has dropped to around 11% from a peak of 14% a few weeks ago.
“All of those metrics point to the conclusion that we may have passed the peak,” he noted. “If we stay put now and we mask up and we get vaccines into arms as quickly as possible, we can start to get a hold of this pandemic.”
With the new administration coming into power this week, President-elect Joe Biden will sign an executive order requiring masks on federal property and for interstate travel. Biden has said he’ll use part of his inaugural address to urge Americans to commit to wearing masks for at least 100 days to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that has now killed almost 400,000 Americans. Biden is expected to sign this order within the first 10 days of his presidency.
“This is a patriotic act,” Biden said in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday outlining his plan to accelerate vaccinations against the virus. “We’re asking you, we’re in a war with this virus.”
The combination of a vaccination drive and a mandate to mask-up will hopefully bring down the deaths that are a result of this deadly virus.