However, the White House Coronavirus Task Force urged public health officials to bypass public policy if necessary to warn of rising COVID infection rates.
In a November 29 report that NBC News received, the Task Force wrote that “the COVID risk for all Americans has reached an all-time high.
The report continued: “Unless state and local policies reflect the seriousness of the current situation, all public health officials must directly alert the state’s population.
The call to public health officials represents a significant escalation by the Task Force, which also called on state and local officials to impose more stringent COVID-19 measures, including mask restrictions and restrictions on indoor dining.
BREAKING: The latest report from the WH Coronavirus Task Force sent to states includes a warning that “the COVID risk for all Americans has reached an all-time high” and that “we are in a very dangerous place due to the current extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity. pic.twitter.com/a7GGwnrAdS
– NBC news (@NBCNews) 2 December 2020
The Task Force report stated that after Memorial Day and before the summer increase, there were fewer than 25,000 cases of COVID-19 a day at the national level. Now the USA reports over 180,000 new cases every day.
The number of hospitalizations with corona viruses has also increased since then, according to the Task Force. Between Memorial Day and surgery in the summer, less than 30,000 patients were hospitalized, but in the U.S. the number of COVID-19 deaths has now exceeded 90,000. The number of COVID-19 deaths has also more than doubled.
“We are in a very dangerous situation due to the current extremely high baseline COVID levels and limited hospital capacity; a further increase after surgery will affect the care of COVID patients as well as overall medical care,” the report said.
In November, a majority of state governments imposed measures requiring residents in public facilities to wear face masks. However, about a dozen states do not have nationwide measures in place for wearing face masks.
There are no mandates in Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming. Kansas law also allowed most counties to overrule the governor’s order at their discretion, although most still encourage residents to wear face masks.
In several states on the list, some of the worst riots in COVID-19 cases occurred.
Dr. Deborah Brix, the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, previously urged people to take personal responsibility, even though their state and local leaders have not issued COVID-19 mandates.
“To all Americans, this is the moment to protect yourself and your family,” Brix said in an interview with Margaret Brennan of CBS News on November 29.
“So if your governor or mayor doesn’t pursue the policies we know are critical – masking, physical distancing, avoiding bars, avoiding crowded interiors – if these restrictions don’t exist in your state, you have to take it upon yourself to be restrictive,” Brix continued.
The White House did not respond in time for publication to Washington Newsday’s request for comment.