As public health experts continued to warn this week about the impending increase in coronavirus cases, President Donald Trump contradicted his own experts by telling Fox News that he wants the country "opened up" by Easter.
Dr. Thomas Tsai, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and assistant professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told Jim Braude on WGBH News’ Greater Boston that the President is giving Americans false hope.
“In this time of crisis and uncertainty what we have to rely on are data," he said. "We have to let the data and the evidence that we have available to us guide us. ... And what the facts are telling us is that the epidemic is real, and it is rapidly growing.”
Tsai explained that the country’s infection curves are currently outpacing many others in the world.
“There is a true fear that we may emerge as a new epicenter for the global pandemic,” he said.
Tsai also said Governor Charlie Baker is taking the right steps in Massachusetts with the stay-at-home advisory, but fears that the state is only days behind New York in the number of positive cases.
With that in mind, he said the state needs to institute more dramatic measures and develop emergency strategies to safeguard the healthcare workforce.
“What’s needed right now… is to start planning contingency plans like they have in New York in terms of increasing extra capacity…. How do we preserve our workforce, protect the workforce now? So, they can be there a week, two weeks from now to take care of the patients when they’re needed the most,” he said.