The 'Nation's Doctor' Has a Message, and It Isn't Good

'This week it's going to get bad,' says Surgeon General Jerome Adams
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2020 12:53 PM CDT
Surgeon General Annoyed With Cherry-Blossom Lookers
In this March 9, 2020, photo Surgeon General Jerome Adams speaks in the briefing room of the White House in Washington about the coronavirus outbreak.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(Newser) – The US surgeon general set expectations regarding the coronavirus on Monday—and he set them low. "I want America to understand this week it's going to get bad," said Jerome Adams. And part of why it's going to get bad is because of ... Americans. In comments on the Today Show, Adams said "there are not enough people out there who are taking this seriously," meaning staying at home. Case in point, Washington, DC: "The district set up a cam for people to watch the cherry blossoms," said Adams. "You look on the cam you see more people walking around than you see cherry blossoms. This is how the spread is occurring." Adams noted that too many Americans think they won't get or be sickened by the disease.

Adams did say strides are being made in increasing America's testing capabilities. NPR notes that New York is testing 16,000 people a day as of Monday, a count that reportedly outpaces China and South Korea. The Hill flags this line from Adams: "As the nation's doctor I'm here to help America understand how we need to respond to this, and where I come down is that every single day counts. Every single second counts, and right now there are not enough people out there taking this seriously." (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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