April 23 coronavirus news

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9:09 p.m. ET, April 22, 2020

CDC director clarifies comments about the second wave of coronavirus in the US

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clarified comments he made to the Washington Post about how the second coronavirus outbreak could emerge this winter in conjunction with the flu season to make for an even more dire health crisis.

"There's a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through," CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a story published Tuesday. "And when I've said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don't understand what I mean."

Speaking at the White House on Wednesday, Redfield said that the second wave "could be more difficult, more complicated" and not "worse."

"When I commented yesterday that there was a possibility of the fall/winter -- next fall and winter it could be more difficult, more complicated," Redfield said. "When we had two respiratory illnesses circulating at the same time, influenza and the coronavirus, but I think it's really important to emphasize what I didn't say. I didn't say this was going to be worse. I said it was going to be more more difficult and potentially complicated because we'll have flu and coronavirus circulating at the same time. I want to emphasize we continue to build the nation's public health infrastructure to ensure that we have the capacity to stay in the containment mode."