The United States Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams was on Wake Up Tucson Friday and was upbeat about the progress that we’re making in the fight against COVID-19. Speaking to some of the progress we’ve made said Dr. Adams said “We know more about who gets the disease and how to protect them and that’s why the average age of case diagnosis has gone down a decade-and-a-half, we have better treatments like from Remdesivir, steroids and convalescent plasma and people are actually getting out of the hospital sooner and the mortality rate is much lower.”
When asked about trust and messaging and how that’s playing out in the current political and social climate Dr. Adams said that impeachment, a major social justice movement and an election were not part of the “pandemic playbook” and that politics is playing a part in all of this.
Dr. Adams also said that we’re reaping the results of the under funding of public health. The mixed messages and reporting issues that have occurred throughout the pandemic, he said, stem from the fact that we haven’t funded public health in the way we “could have or should have.” “As a lifelong public health advocate that’s something I want people to remember, that eventually it does catch up to you.” But he also said that in the beginning he was guilty of some of the mixed messaging mostly because the science was still inconclusive and they didn’t know about asymptomatic spread of the virus.
When it comes to Arizona specifically the Surgeon General had encouraging words for the state, saying that over the last couple of weeks the positivity rate, which is the first indicator, is leveling off. Though he was cautious with his praise, saying that he doesn’t want to be premature, it looks like it may be going down again.
The U.S. Surgeon General’s main message was that the work that needs to be done will be accomplished at the community level. Many times mentioning that we need to do the right things in order to reopen – like wearing a face covering in public, following basic hygiene, staying home if you’re sick and following the information provided by coronavirus.gov.
Listen to the full interview below: