“If things do not change, if they continue on the course we’re on, there’s going to be a whole lot of pain in this country with regard to additional cases and hospitalisations, and deaths,” he said in an interview with CNBC Wednesday night.
The White House coronavirus task force has warned states in the middle and west of the country that aggressive mitigation measures will be necessary, according to weekly state reports obtained by CNN.
“We continue to see unrelenting, broad community spread in the Midwest, Upper Midwest and West. This will require aggressive mitigation to control both the silent, asymptomatic spread and symptomatic spread,” one state’s report said.
The task force reports said the cooler weather is a major factor in the increase as friends and families move gatherings indoors. It urged states to intensify efforts to encourage mask wearing, social distancing and avoiding crowds in public spaces.
US hospitalisations are soaring, a metric not affected by the amount of testing done. Thirteen states, mainly in the Midwest and West, reported a record number of hospitalised COVID-19 patients on Wednesday, according to a Reuters analysis.
Wisconsin, a hotly contested battleground in next week’s U.S. presidential election, is one of 36 states where coronavirus hospitalisations are rising by at least 10 per cent compared with the previous week.
Michigan, another election battleground state, logged a one-day record of over 3,500 new cases.
President Donald Trump, a Republican, is battling for re-election on Tuesday against Democratic challenger Joe Biden. He and his fellow Democrats in Congress have excoriated Mr Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Trump pushed to reopen the US economy, sometimes against the advice of his own government health experts, while many of his supporters in Michigan and elsewhere protested lockdown and mitigation efforts.