‘This week, it’s going to get bad’: US Surgeon General says people need to take coronavirus seriously

US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams (Photo: NBC News)

United States Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams warned Monday (March 23) that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will worsen this week and said that people across the country are not taking the threat seriously enough.

“I want America to understand this week, it’s going to get bad,” Adams said in an interview on the “TODAY” show.

The disease is spreading, he said, because many people — especially young people — are not abiding by guidance to stay at home and practise social distancing.

“Right now, there are not enough people out there who are taking this seriously,” he said.

Adams said that young people are flocking to the beaches in California and people are still heading to the National Mall in Washington to view the cherry blossom trees that bloom each year. He warned that young people need to understand that they can contract COVID-19, and they can be hospitalised and potentially die from it.

“Everyone needs to act as if they have the virus right now. So, test or no test, we need you to understand you could be spreading it to someone else. Or you could be getting it from someone else. Stay at home,” he said.