HHS secretary: 'The window is closing' to stop coronavirus spread

Source: The Hill | June 28, 2020 | Rebecca Klar

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said Sunday the “window is closing” to stop the spread of coronavirus, as cases across the South and West surge.

Azar said the country is in a different situation than at the last peak of the epidemic a few months ago, noting new therapeutics and advancements of COVID-19 vaccine research, but he added that “the window is closing.”

“We have to act, and people as individuals have to act responsibly. We need to social-distance. We need to wear our face-coverings if we’re in settings where we can’t social-distance, particularly in these hot zones,” Azar said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Azar also dismissed the idea that the surge in cases is tied to states reopening and lifting restrictions put in place to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

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CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Azar on “State of the Union” if he thinks President Trump is undermining the administration’s message for Americans to wear masks by refusing to wear a mask and holding campaign rallies where crowds are not social distancing.

“I am the president’s health secretary and I am telling people just what President Trump has said from day one of the guidelines,” Azar responded.

Pressed by Tapper, Azar said that Trump and Vice President Pence are in “a very unique situation” as they are tested for the coronavirus regularly.

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