Pandemic doctor predicts coronavirus will spike, blames Trump for wasting weeks of lockdown
A top pandemic doctor predicted Sunday that coronavirus cases will spike dramatically in coming weeks as states reopen without implementing track, trace and isolate protocols to help limit the spread of the disease.
Dr. Jeffrey Shaman told NBC’s “Meet The Press” that the Trump administration wasted precious time during the widespread stay-at-home orders that could’ve been used to develop a robust plan to control outbreaks as states seek to reopen safely.
The Columbia University scientist said that “we are going to see a growth in cases” due to reopening, and by then it will be too late to reverse the new wave of illness and death.
The prediction mirrors the dramatic upward revision in deaths and cases presented by scientific models now that the U.S. is rushing to reopen. Earlier, less-catastrophic predictions were based on longer and stricter social-distancing measures, and safer, coordinated reopening plans that have now been abandoned.
Shaman blamed the Trump administration for failing to develop a powerful national system for testing, tracing and isolating people who became sickened with COVID-19 during the time when most Americans were staying home.
Such a system, like ones that were implemented in once hard-hit countries like South Korea and Germany, can dramatically help keep the virus at bay when reopening starts, he said.
“Then you’re in this position of strength where reopening the economy is not going to lead necessarily to the rebound in cases that I’m expecting,” Shaman said.
Even now, Shaman pleaded with the federal government to show leadership and take control of the reopening effort amid a patchwork of plans by the states and no national testing and tracing initiative.
“We do need to start picking ourselves up where we are,” he said.