A prominent medical expert is sounding the alarm about President Donald Trump’s stated desire to end social distancing measures by the end of next week.
Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, took to Twitter this week to warn against “restarting” the economy at a time when COVID-19 is still spreading rapidly throughout the United States.
“This is the moment I warned of — we have sacrificed so much already, but it feels like nothing is working,” Rivers writes. “That’s because it takes weeks to see results. We must stay committed and trust that the social distancing we are enduring now will save thousands of lives.”
In a tweet from last week, Rivers explained how social distancing measures never show immediate results, especially with a virus like COVID-19 where people who contract it may not start showing symptoms for several days.
That has been the case in Italy, where coronavirus cases initially kept increasing for days after the country implemented a nationwide lockdown. But Chico Harlan, the Washington Post’s Rome bureau chief, reports that Italy has started recording a drop off in the number of new coronavirus cases over the last two days, showing that the benefits of social distancing might finally be kicking in.
This is the moment I warned of – we have sacrificed so much already, but it feels like nothing is working. That's because it takes weeks to see results. We must stay committed and trust that the social distancing we are enduring now will save thousands of lives. https://t.co/rzu2LXgIAh
— Caitlin Rivers, PhD (@cmyeaton) March 24, 2020