New reports suggest that several of the doctors working on the White House Coronavirus Task Force have warned task force leader Vice President Pence that the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. remains a serious threat that is quickly deteriorating, CBS News reports.
Recent data suggests that over the last two weeks, new cases have increased by 79 percent, along with hospitalizations and deaths.
Indicators like these have prompted doctors on the federal task force to fear the country could potentially see an average of 1,500 deaths a day by next week, leading up to 2,000 a day by Christmas if health mitigation measures are not strengthened.
The doctors are reportedly advising that bars and restaurants nationwide cease indoor dining, even when social distancing is applied. Schools, however, are permitted to remain open, given rates of transmission remain low. Public health measures, like masks and social distancing, must still be implemented.
To achieve these measures, the task force is reportedly urging the vice president and President Trump to emphasize the importance of practicing public health measures to avoid COVID-19 transmission, such as wearing facial masks while in public, staying 6 feet away from those not in your household and avoiding crowds.
This comes as major pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna announced that their vaccine candidates have each registered efficacy rates of about 95 percent, meaning the vaccines can prevent a COVID-19 infection in about 95 percent of people.
While Trump has notably declined to implement any national coronavirus mandates, such as universal face masks, President-elect Joe Biden has spoken about plans to set up a nationwide mask coordination in conjunction with state governors, something health experts like Anthony Fauci have advocated.
“We need some fundamental public health measures that everyone should be adhering to, not a disjointed, ‘One state says one thing, the other state says another thing,’” Fauci said earlier this week.