The Trump administration’s Covid-19 testing czar warned Wednesday that local governments may be forced to impose “draconian measures” if Americans don’t start taking safety precautions seriously and the coronavirus crisis worsens.
“We still can control this” by wearing masks, social distancing and being careful around the holidays, Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of health, said on NBC’s “Today” show.
“But if we don’t do those things, it may force local officials or government officials in the states to have more draconian measures because cases will go up if we don’t make a change.”
President Trump Speaks On Coronavirus Testing Strategy
Admiral Brett Giroir, U.S. assistant secretary for health, demonstrates a Covid-19 test during an event in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sept. 28, 2020.Ken Cedeno / Pool via Getty Images
Giroir, who spoke out as Covid-19 was spreading across the United States at the fastest rate since the start of the pandemic, also contradicted President Donald Trump’s repeatedly false claims that increased testing is the reason for the uptick in reported coronavirus cases.
“Yes, we’re getting more cases identified, but the cases are actually going up, and we know that too because hospitalizations are going up,” Giroir said. “Now, the (daily) peak was in the 70,000s, in July, we’re at about 42, 43,000 now, so we’re much less in July. But those are going up, those are real. And we do know that deaths are increasing, unfortunately.”
Actually, the current level of new cases is eclipsing the July levels, according to the latest NBC News analysis.