As the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations rises in the United States, an increase in the number of deaths will likely follow, Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, warned Friday.
The US has passed the 8 million mark in total coronavirus cases, with more than 63,000 new infections on Thursday. More than 218,000 people have died.
“I also look at not just the number of cases, but hospitalizations — because that indicates people are really severely sick and they need to be in the hospital. And that curve has also started up again, which is troubling,” Collins told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“And that probably means, unfortunately, that we may start now to see also an increase in the number of deaths each day — which is the thing we most want to prevent.”
Collins urged Americans to ask themselves what they can do to help limit the spread of Covid-19.
“This is a good moment for people to stop and ask themselves, what can I do to try to be sure that we limit the further infections that otherwise seem to be looming in front of us as cold weather is kicking in and people are indoors, and those curves are going upward, in the wrong direction,” Collins said.
“There’s many reasons to be sorrowful about where we are,” he said. “This is the most significant global pandemic in more than 100 years, but the way in which it has taken a toll on so many individuals and families in the US is truly heartbreaking.
“It’s truly tragic and we should be doing everything we can.”