U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Sunday that the impending onslaught of coronavirus cases and deaths will rival some of America’s most trying times in modern history, telling the country to prepare for widespread tragedy comparable to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
“This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives, quite frankly,” Adams said on Fox News Sunday. “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localized. It’s going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that.”
Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said “this is going to be a bad week,” speaking on CBS‘ Face the Nation, saying the next week is “going to be shocking to some, but that’s what is going to happen before it turns around.”
The White House’s coronavirus task force did not have a briefing scheduled on Sunday, but one was added at the last minute. It’s slated to begin at 6:45 p.m. ET. Watch the briefing live here.
The dire predictions come amid a toll exacted by the virus that is already grim.
Confirmed coronavirus infections in America have passed 330,000 and killed in excess of 9,400 people, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University show.
The White House’s coronavirus task force has said it expects at least 100,000 U.S. deaths from the virus in the coming weeks and months.
New York has been the epicenter of the country’s epidemic, but prediction models show Detroit and New Orleans should also be bracing for an especially significant crush of new cases soon.
Most of the country is on lockdown and the economy has nearly skidded to a stop, prompting a record 10 million people to file for unemployment over two weeks.
Scores of major events are being postponed or cancelled. And Sunday, former Vice President Joe Biden suggested his party’s presidential nominating convention, which had already been delayed a month over coronavirus fears, could be forced to happen virtually.