"We're still dealing with coronavirus and now you layer on top of that the flu, it's going to lead to a very catastrophic set up in which many hospitals and healthcare workers and healthcare institutions can become overwhelmed", said Sonpal.
"When John Kennedy said, 'don't ask what your country can do, ask what you can do for your country, ' try to paraphrase that", said Redfield. Advertisement "I keep telling people, I'm not asking some of America to do it - we all got to do it", Redfield said, suggesting that where the United States goes from here depends in part on whether Americans practice the recommended steps that scientists and public health officials have been advocating for months since COVID-19 began spreading in the US. "You do those four things, it will bring this outbreak down".
"This is the greatest public health crisis that hit this nation in a century. we were under-prepared", Redfield said. While as of late Thursday, there have been over 167,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the USA, a New York Times analysis of death records throughout the U.S. during the pandemic suggests that the true number of coronavirus-related deaths could be higher.
During the interview Redfield also stressed the importance of getting the flu vaccine this fall in order to avoid another jump in the need for hospital beds throughout the country. "When we look at the mortality that we see with flu, one thing is for certain".
Now as we approach the fall - a new concern is the flu season.
"Last year, we were only at a 47% compliance nationally with the flu vaccine", said Sonpal. He is cautiously optimistic they will roll out one or more vaccines before January 1, 2021.
The 2017-2018 flu season was the deadliest in modern history.
The CDC is working closely with companies to ramp-up flu vaccine production. According to Redfield, close to 190,000 million doses are being made, and an extra 10 million are being purchased by the CDC for uninsured adults.
"I think if we had been able to get in at that time, we probably would have learned quicker than we learned here", Redfield said. American labs are already struggling to keep up with the demand for coronavirus tests, resulting in backlogs.
Dr. Bobbi Pritt, chairwoman of the division of clinical microbiology at the Mayo Clinic, recently told CBS News that a bad flu season could make testing volume double or even triple, exacerbating every existing issue that labs are already experiencing.
"Please don't leave this important accomplishment of American medicine on the shelf", Redfield said.
"It's really the worst of times or the best of times, depending on the American public".