US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield warned that the riots at the US Capitol on Wednesday was likely a coronavirus “surge event” and “is going to have public health consequences.”
In an interview with the McClatchy newspaper group on Friday, Redfield called the riots a “very, very sad day” and expressed concern that members of Congress and law enforcement could have been exposed by the pro-Trump mob, perpetuating the spread of coronavirus.
“I do think you have to anticipate that this is another surge event. You had largely unmasked individuals in a non-distanced fashion, who were all through the Capitol,” Redfield told McClatchy.
“Then these individuals all are going in cars and trains and planes going home all across the country right now. So I do think this is an event that will probably lead to a significant spreading event,” Redfield said.
On Thursday, the US reported more than 4,000 deaths from coronavirus for the first time. Redfield warned that the numbers are likely to increase.
“We’re going to continue to see mortality in the 2,500-5,000 a day range,” Redfield said. “This is going to continue to get worse through January, and probably parts of February before we really start to turn the corner.”
“We haven’t hit the peak of the current surge,” he added. “Clearly, the amount of mortality we’re seeing, as many of us are trying to stress, is more than we saw on Pearl Harbor or 9/11, over and over and over again. That’s the state of the pandemic unfortunately we’re at right now.”