"10 plain truths" about coronavirus, according to a former CDC director

Dr. Tom Frieden, the former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks at a hearing on the country’s response to Covid-19 on May 6.
Dr. Tom Frieden, the former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaks at a hearing on the country’s response to Covid-19 on May 6. C-SPAN/Pool
Dr. Tom Frieden, the former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, laid out “10 plain truths” about Covid-19 today as he spoke at a House Appropriations Committee hearing on the pandemic response. 
“In my 30 years in global public health, I've never seen anything like this. It's scary. It's unprecedented,” Frieden, who now serves as president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, said.
Here are the 10 truths:
  1. “It's really bad” in New York City, Frieden said. “Even now with deaths decreasing substantially, there are twice as many deaths from Covid in New York City as there are on a usual day from all other causes combined.”
  2. As bad as this has been, it's “just the beginning.”
  3. Data is a “very powerful weapon against this virus,” and using it to monitor trends can help stop clusters before turning into outbreaks, and help stop outbreaks from turning into epidemics.
  4. After flattening the curve, we need to “box the virus in,” Frieden said.
  5. We must find the balance between restarting our economy and letting the virus run rampant.
  6. “We must protect the health care workers and other essential staff, or the frontline heroes of this war,” Frieden said.
  7. We must protect our most vulnerable people.
  8. Governments and private companies need to work together and make “massive continued investments in testing and distributing a vaccine as soon as possible.”
  9. We must not neglect non-Covid health issues.
  10. Preparedness is paramount. “Never again,” Frieden said. “It is inevitable that there will be future outbreaks. It's not inevitable that we will continue to be so underprepared.”

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