In an exclusive interview with The Hill, top CDC official Dr. Anne Schuchat warns that New York's coronavirus outbreak is just a preview

KSweeley

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,189
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
The Hill had an exclusive interview with top CDC official Dr. Anne Schuchat in which she warns that what's occurring in New York City is just a preview for other cities in the U.S.:


03/26/20

American health officials are deeply concerned that the coronavirus outbreak that has overwhelmed New York City hospitals in recent days is just the first in a wave of local outbreaks likely to strike cities across the country in the coming weeks.

In an exclusive interview, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said her agency is seeing early signs that the number of cases in other cities are already beginning to spike. While New York City is home to almost half the cases in the country at the moment, other cities are seeing their case counts rising at alarming rates.

“We're looking at our flu syndromic data, our respiratory illness that presents at emergency departments. Across the country there's a number of areas that are escalating. The numbers in New York are so large that they show up, but we're looking at increases over time and we're really seeing some in a number of places. It would be surprising to me based on what I've seen about how this virus spreads if it were not going to increase in many other parts of the country,” Schuchat said.

The CDC has deployed about 1,500 of its epidemiologists, scientists and experts to hot spots around the country, including the New York City area and Seattle, where the first American cases of the coronavirus emerged in January and early February. Now, Schuchat said, the CDC has dispatched teams to Louisiana, Wisconsin and Colorado, among others.

Schuchat declined to name the cities that are likely to become the epicenters of new and worrying outbreaks, but New Orleans has stood out in recent days for the rapid growth in cases it has seen. Louisiana reported its first case of coronavirus on March 9; it crossed 100 cases a week later. Its case count doubled between Sunday and Wednesday, when the state reported almost 1,800 cases.

The CDC is using one of its most reliable indicators to provide early hints about where the next epidemics might spring up. A surveillance system designed to detect sudden upticks in patients who report flu-like symptoms at emergency rooms across the country, built over decades into a system that presents data in almost real time, was the first alarm bell that rang in New York. Those who reported flu-like symptoms, it turned out, were instead victims of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Now, that same surveillance system is flashing red lights in many states, a potential sign that coronavirus patients are already visiting hospitals, even if their symptoms are not severe enough to warrant overnight stays.

“There's just dozens of places we're watching,” Schuchat said. “We really need to expect that the whole country's at risk here, and we have to look across our health care system within each jurisdiction to have them be as strong as possible.”

“Everything that I'm seeing today suggests to me that we need to take this virus very seriously, and that we have to be absolutely sure that our health care system in diverse geographies is ready for increased burden, and that we have good systems to detect, track, isolate and reduce the spread of continued new cases. So I would be very reluctant to let up on measures in the nation as a whole. There are probably geographies where the virus hasn't yet arrived in great force but where the health care system needs to be prepared for it,” Schuchat said.

“I think what we're seeing in New York City and New York state right now is a real warning to other areas about what may happen or what may already be starting to happen, and these efforts to make sure that our health care system’s ready and that we can protect the most vulnerable before we ease up on the social measures that are in place,” she said. “The measures are meant to be used in a layered way, and it may be possible that selected ones might be eased up on. But as I talk to colleagues around the world who are facing different stages of this epidemic, I think we are all trying to make sure we have the very best information about how to ease up and also about how to minimize the unintended consequences, the negative consequences of the mitigation effort.”

She acknowledged that the response to the coronavirus has become tinged with politics in a way that other outbreaks have not, a function of a highly polarized moment in which even nonpartisan institutions get dragged into partisan squabbles. She said keeping the CDC apart from the fray is important for the country's long-term health.

“I've worked for the CDC for 32 years now, and I've worked through every administration since 1988. Politicization is not helpful. This is a battle against a virus, and it's a virus that we absolutely have to take seriously, and I think today that's more evident than ever to politicians and to the public. CDC is a data-driven science-based organization serving the public and working with every administration that is there. It's critical to me that the best science be brought to policymakers and that we remember that we're all in this together,” Schuchat said.
 

LastCaress

Avenger
Oct 29, 2017
1,065
The sad thing is that NY is doing things right (did they start too late though?) and still it's tragic. Other places will be worse (Florida?)
 

entremet

Member
Oct 26, 2017
17,282
The sad thing is that NY is doing things right (did they start too late though?) and still it's tragic. Other places will be worse (Florida?)
It started way too late. DeBlasio is a clown. Cuomo is also a bit overrated as well. He's been a better moral presence than Trump, but he failed as well.
 

99nikniht

Member
Oct 28, 2017
256
It started way too late. DeBlasio is a clown. Cuomo is also a bit overrated as well. He's been a better moral presence than Trump, but he failed as well.
Not entirely accurate, much if not entirely of the blame falls on the executive branch. Trump had briefings and had many people reach out to him to take Covid-19 seriously. For a 2 month period, he downplayed the entire situation. Much could have happened in those 2 months time to adequately prepare the nation to start covid 19 testing to minimize and contain spread. This didn't happen, now every state is in reactionary mode.

We still don't have adequate amounts of testing country wide. What we have confirmed is just the tip of the iceberg, the actual numbers are much much worse.
 

RBH

Official ERA expert on Third Party Football
Member
Nov 2, 2017
15,116
She’s not wrong, unfortunately
 

Afrikan

Member
Oct 28, 2017
5,730
It started way too late. DeBlasio is a clown. Cuomo is also a bit overrated as well. He's been a better moral presence than Trump, but he failed as well.
Wasn't DeBlasio calling for a Shelter in Place similar to San Francisco? To which Cuomo misunderstood what our shelter in place actually meant and waved it off (Cuomo thought it meant extreame lockdown, or gave that impression)..... then days to a week later, agreed to a shelter in place.
 

Sketch

Member
Nov 12, 2017
1,394
This is the 10th time I’ve heard this in the past three days, all from different people. We’ve been hearing that April will be the worst of it and that we have not reached peak death tolls and yet, there are still millions of Americans who are listening to Trump and not taking this seriously.

We literally have a president helping a deadly disease by successfully convincing half of the country to act against the CDC’s advisement.

I’ve never felt so helpless and scared.
 

ruggiex

Member
Oct 27, 2017
894
One thing that's not mentioned when talking about flattening the curve is that hospital capacity doesn't stay constant. It goes down due to workers getting sick themselves... People need to take this seriously.
 

Davidion

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,298
It started way too late. DeBlasio is a clown. Cuomo is also a bit overrated as well. He's been a better moral presence than Trump, but he failed as well.
Yep, both acted way too late. It's odd watching Cuomo becoming lauded as the good guy as of late. LOL

But at least they started trying. Par for the course for the past decade or two, the GOP is always the biggest, more systemic failure. Such is life.
 

El Bombastico

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
13,469
This is what they meant whey they said this thing will come in waves. One section of the country will recover only for another to be hit just as bad later on. And if some asshole moves to a previously cleared area, it starts all over again...
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,815
Detroit is getting hit really hard right now as well. Hospitals are over capacity and they are running out of vents. Not sure why the media is basically ignoring it.
 

RBH

Official ERA expert on Third Party Football
Member
Nov 2, 2017
15,116
Detroit is getting hit really hard right now as well. Hospitals are over capacity and they are running out of vents. Not sure why the media is basically ignoring it.
Yeah, I have a couple of friends in the Detroit area (hospitalist, fellow, and resident), all at different hospitals, and they’ve all been saying that they’re getting hit hard.
 

BrucCLea13k87

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,627
NY residents are flooding to the south. NC and Florida, specifically. They’ll spread it everywhere. We need a national lockdown.
 

ejoshua

Member
Oct 27, 2017
474
Are these the same CDC officials that Birx says she is listening to, despite it feels like she is feeding me bullshit?
 

NihonTiger

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,873
Denver is getting hit hard but I'm looking South and the number of cases being reported already in Colorado Springs is alarming. El Paso County did nothing before the state stay at home order.
 

BrucCLea13k87

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,627
New Orleans will get ravaged. I’m sure Mardi Gras didn’t help. I think Florida will get decimated as well. NC might be ok. Regardless, it’s up to us to take this shit seriously. Our president isn’t. He’s a moron who needs to resign. Hell, Pence is even a better option.
 

Speevy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,779
Why doesn't anyone on the national news talk about what's happening in Atlanta and Albany (GA) right now?
 

Shoe

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,811
I hope that Phoenix can make it to the summer without a horrific breakout, where the heat will force everyone inside (and hopefully, do something to the virus).
 

bangai-o

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,777
I have wondered about the possibilities of other states who haven't been hard hit yet to help, in some way, the states that are getting it. Unfortunately, the states are competing with eachother.
 

raYne_07

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,903
The sad thing is that NY is doing things right (did they start too late though?) and still it's tragic. Other places will be worse (Florida?)
We definitely started to late. Considering how densely populated NY is and the amount of people who depend on public transportation, Cuomo's hemming and hawing about shutting down the state is responsible for a higher infection rate.

No, I'm not blaming him personally for mass infections, but for the reasons I listed, he definitely should've saw this coming.

Why doesn't anyone on the national news talk about what's happening in Atlanta and Albany (GA) right now?
They're stuck on New Orleans at the moment.
 
OP
OP
KSweeley

KSweeley

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,189
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
How long before she gets fired?
I'm actually surprised to learn that Dr. Schuchat still works within the CDC, I thought she would've been fired already by Trump:

She acknowledged that the response to the coronavirus has become tinged with politics in a way that other outbreaks have not, a function of a highly polarized moment in which even nonpartisan institutions get dragged into partisan squabbles. She said keeping the CDC apart from the fray is important for the country's long-term health.

“I've worked for the CDC for 32 years now, and I've worked through every administration since 1988. Politicization is not helpful. This is a battle against a virus, and it's a virus that we absolutely have to take seriously, and I think today that's more evident than ever to politicians and to the public. CDC is a data-driven science-based organization serving the public and working with every administration that is there. It's critical to me that the best science be brought to policymakers and that we remember that we're all in this together,” Schuchat said.
 

Culex

Member
Oct 29, 2017
1,097
Living in CT, I’ve come to realize this state is doomed from all the New York workforce coming back home. It’s scary in Fairfield County right now. Wouldn’t be surprised when this is over the death count just there is over 5k
 

Speevy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
8,779
What’s happening in Atlanta
Huge outbreak with about 1/3 of Georgia's cases. In Albany they held two funerals and now Dougherty County (south Georgia) has the second most cases in the state.

I know this is impossible to read but this is what our 1,600 cases look like.



A lot of these places that you see highlighted in yellow are really just a cow and a Waffle House.
 

djplaeskool

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,957
Huge outbreak with about 1/3 of Georgia's cases. In Albany they held two funerals and now Dougherty County (south Georgia) has the second most cases in the state.

I know this is impossible to read but this is what our 1,600 cases look like.



A lot of these places that you see highlighted in yellow are really just a cow and a Waffle House.
Yup.
Atlanta-area ICUs are nearly at capacity, and as a populous state, Georgia has one of the lowest testing ratios in the US.
Rural Georgia has also suffered MASSIVE loss of ER and ICU coverage over the past years.
This is only going to get worse.
It's estimated that infections are multitudes higher than detected so far, simply because we still have no widespread testing.
I don't think I'm remiss in saying this is a problem nationwide.
 

Lonestar

Too Old for this Place
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
2,405
Rural Georgia has also suffered MASSIVE loss of ER and ICU coverage over the past years.
Yeah, I’m thinking it’s a similar story in Alabama/Jefferson County. There are a lot of rural counties that no longer have real hospital locations, and have to travel to Tuscaloosa/Birmingham/Mobile/Auburn/Huntsville for testing/treatment, and I think their inflating the numbers in the cities rather than where the patients county where they got it. It’s much more likely to be widespread.
 
May 26, 2018
6,611
Yeah, I’m thinking it’s a similar story in Alabama/Jefferson County. There are a lot of rural counties that no longer have real hospital locations, and have to travel to Tuscaloosa/Birmingham/Mobile/Auburn/Huntsville for testing/treatment, and I think their inflating the numbers in the cities rather than where the patients county where they got it. It’s much more likely to be widespread.
wtf happened to the hospitals?
 

ArkhamFantasy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,118
Most Oklahoma businesses are claiming to be essential so the lockdown order is basically being ignored, everyone is using the Gamestop strategy of "Well we sell this one item that could maybe be considered essential so we're essential".

We aren't going to take this seriously until it's way too late.
 

Asakim

Member
Oct 27, 2017
870
PA boonies resident here. My Grandma's church is full of members that traveled back and forth to new york city everyday. Some of them even work in hospitals.

Well guess what. That church has been closed down for weeks because the pastor and his wife got it. Another member has already died from it. They were all at a party together a few weeks ago so I hope my grandma didn't catch it from them.

Also a lot of them have a shit ton of relatives from NYC and you can guess where a bunch of them chose to ride the lockdown out. I wish there was some kind of lockdown in place to stop people from just going wherever the fuck they want without getting tested first.
 

Chopchop

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,539
This is the 10th time I’ve heard this in the past three days, all from different people. We’ve been hearing that April will be the worst of it and that we have not reached peak death tolls and yet, there are still millions of Americans who are listening to Trump and not taking this seriously.

We literally have a president helping a deadly disease by successfully convincing half of the country to act against the CDC’s advisement.

I’ve never felt so helpless and scared.
It's awful. People have always been scared of something big happening to the country during his administration because of his obvious incompetence, and here it is.

He has a history of avoiding taking action like a petulant child avoiding his homework. Look at how he ignored Puerto Rico and let thousands (if not more) die from lack of aid. Everyone thought that was awful, but the whole mess eventually slid away from the public eye eventually when it really shouldn't have.

Now he's doing the same thing to the entire country, and far more will die from his actions.
 

Wonderment

Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
11,770
Living in CT, I’ve come to realize this state is doomed from all the New York workforce coming back home. It’s scary in Fairfield County right now. Wouldn’t be surprised when this is over the death count just there is over 5k
I'm there too, fairfield county had its own outbreak (a party of as many as 100 people). Himes' town hall today said Stamford Hospital badly needs n95 masks. We live in one of the states that is doing a relatively "good" job with stay-at-home and the hospital systems are strapped anyways.