Tags: redlener | disaster | coronavirus | preparedness

Disaster Expert: Extreme Measures Needed on Virus Now

dr. irwin redlener is shown in washington
Dr. Irwin Redlener (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 10 March 2020 11:21 AM

The United States must take more extreme measures now to curtail the spread of coronavirus before it finds itself in a situation such as Italy's, where a nationwide shutdown is in effect, Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, said Tuesday. 

"At some point, we'll have to pull the trigger and go to much more extreme methods than just recommending that we don't gather in large groups," Redlener said in an interview with Fox News' "America's Newsroom."

The biggest problem in the United States is that it is missing a true, "ongoing assessment of who actually has (coronavirus). We're so far behind with the testing. We're kind of operating in the dark in terms of making policies," said Redlener.

And in the absence of that information, the White House panel on coronavirus and federal officials must "go to extreme measures right now," said Redlener, adding that he had initially been "personally opposed to that."

One step, Redlener said, would be to allow "absolutely no visitors" to nursing homes and places where elderly people are, in areas where there has been any kind of documented outbreak. 

"We should start in those places closing down large-scale events," said Redlener. "I think we should tell every business and organization that we possibly can to start making sure their workers can work remotely, using teleconference technologies. We should say I wish we had more data to support this, we don't. We can't wait for it. This constant postponing of having functional tests in the community is not working."

But if the extreme measures aren't taken in the absence of the information that is needed, "we'll wait and then suddenly see an enormous uptick" in the numbers of people who are affected, said Redlener, and at that point, "it will be too late for any of those more extreme methods to really have an effect that we desire."

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The United States must take more extreme measures now to curtail the spread of coronavirus before it finds itself in a situation such as Italy's, where a nationwide shutdown is in effect, Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness, said Tuesday. 
redlener, disaster, coronavirus, preparedness
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2020-21-10
Tuesday, 10 March 2020 11:21 AM
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