“We Americans are individuals, and if given the appropriate information, and if it’s not sort of confused by a lot of other conspiracy theories, we’re capable of figuring out what to do,” said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.
“If we want to see this current surge, and it’s a real surge, turn around,” he said on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday, “all Americans need to recognize it’s up to us.”
Collins encouraged wearing a mask when outside the house, social distancing, not convening in large groups, especially indoors, and hand washing.
“We can turn this around and we don’t have to wait for some sort of serious high level edict to say so,” Collins said. “This just makes common sense at this point, it just ought to be something we all do.”
Collins said that a good job was done in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and that steps that were put in place meant that those areas came down to close to zero.
“Meanwhile the rest of this country, perhaps imagining this was just a New York problem, kind of went about their business, didn’t really pay that much attention to CDC’s recommendations about the phases necessary to open up safely and jumped over some of those hoops,” said Collins.
People began congregating, not wearing masks and “feeling like it’s over and maybe summer it’ll all go away.”
Collins said that we now have not only 70,000 cases almost every day, but a quite concerning number of hospitalizations, in his perspective, which are almost as high as they were in April.
“We’ve got to really double down here,” said Collins. “We Americans are pretty good at rising to a crisis, we got one now, let’s see what we can do together.”