The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday it was closely monitoring the demonstrations taking place across the US and warned such gatherings could spur coronavirus transmission. Some states are already seeing upward trends of new cases.
For three months, the country passed one grim milestone after the other, hitting 100,000 coronavirus deaths in late May. Public health officials have said without the lockdowns that most states put in place, that death toll could have been significantly higher.
As those lockdowns were lifted and other measures were loosened, the CDC and other top health officials urged Americans to use face coverings when they go out and always maintain a distance.
“It is too early to know what, if any, effect these events will have on the federal Covid-19 response. Every local situation is different. State and local officials will make decisions to protect public health and safety based on circumstances on the ground,” she said.
Earlier this month, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said protesters should be evaluated and tested for the virus.
“I do think there is a potential, unfortunately, for this to be a seeding event,” he said — especially in metropolitan areas where there has been significant transmission.
Some states see rise in new cases
On Friday, health officials in Utah said they were “very concerned” about the rise in new cases over the past week.
The state has recorded more than 12,000 infections, according to Johns Hopkins.
Utah State Rep. Suzanne Harrison called the spike of cases “very concerning (and) approaching exponential.”
An important drug could run out
The US government’s current supply of remdesivir, the only drug known to work against coronavirus, will run out at the end of the month, Dr. Robert Kadlec, a US Department of Health and Human Services official, told CNN.
The government’s last shipment of the drug will go out the week of June 29. Gilead Sciences, the company that makes the drug, is ramping up to make more but it’s unclear how much will be available this summer.
The US Food and Drug Administration gave emergency authorization for remdesivir last month. The drug, an intravenous antiviral medication studied to treat Ebola, is now used on hospitalized Covid patients. A study has shown it helps cut down the length of hospital stays.
The government has been working to help Gilead “with some of their supply chain challenges in terms of raw materials and being able to accelerate the process,” Kadlec said.
“Whatever the supply may be, there may not be enough for everyone who may need it,” he said.
CNN’s Arman Azad and Elizabeth Cohen contributed to this report.
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