Betsy Klein, CNN
Washington (CNN)The White House coronavirus task force issued extremely dire warnings to states in weekly reports this week, urging public health officials to circumvent state and local policies amid record high cases, hospitalizations and deaths, as well as fears of a surge upon a surge following Thanksgiving.
"The COVID risk to all Americans is at a historic high," say the reports dated November 29, which were shared with states and obtained by CNN. They provide figures from previous moments in the pandemic for comparison.
"The national daily COVID incidence after Memorial Day, but before the summer surge, was fewer than 25,000 new cases/day and is now more than 180,000 new cases/day; COVID inpatients then were fewer than 30,000 but are now more than 90,000; fatalities have more than doubled," the report says, concluding, "We are in a very dangerous place due to the current, extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity; a further post-Thanksgiving surge will compromise COVID patient care, as well as medical care overall."
In a dramatic escalation, the task force, which has frequently pleaded in weekly reports with state officials to enact tighter mitigation measures, including mask mandates and indoor dining restrictions, urged public health officials to take matters into their own hands. Read more >>