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tv   Surgeon General Jerome Adams Discusses Health Care Coronavirus Pandemic  CSPAN  May 22, 2020 9:01am-9:20am EDT

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>> with the federal government at work on d.c. and throughout
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the country, use the congressional directory for members of congress and government and federal agencies, order your copy on-line today at c-span next, surgeon general dr. jerome adams on safely reopening the economy. managing the coronavirus pandemic and the importance of providing free or low cost coronavirus vaccines. his remarks came at a summit on the future of the american economy hosted by the hill. >> in a few short days almost all states across the nation will in varying degrees begin to reopen. what are we going to learn as we take the tentative steps to normalcy, what are the guardrails that can promote a smart, advanced and resilient economy? and my first guest is surgeon
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general of the united states, as we reopen the practices, what do we need to institutionalize to live safely and to also work safely? >> well, great question and thanks for having me here. i really appreciate it, particularly at this important time in history and in our response to the virus. and we need to make sure we're reopening in a way that is data-driven. that takes into account the assets and the deficits of -- and challenges that take place in different communities and i think that's one of the things that's hard for people to really wrap their heads around is just how big and how different the united states is. what you're going to do in idaho is very different than what you're going to do in new york. but i tell people, just as we have an epidemic of virus, we also have an epidemic of misinformation so the most important thing for people to take away, is to go to, go to
9:04 am back slash opening america look at our guardrails, we give the tools they need to be safe. for specifics, from my perspective i try to make things easily digestible, the two s's and two c satisfies. surveillance and celebration and c's, cleaning and coverage. we're working to make sure that they have dash boards that showcase counts, that shows who is dying and where, so that the people understand what the burden is in their community. because we know that humans are more vigilant when the threat level was higher. i wish they were vigilant all the time from the health perspective, but they are more vigilant. and we know that the disease lives going person to person.
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the most important thing to do is maintain six feet between us and others. from a cleaning point of view, better than ever about frequent and thorough hygiene and soap and water for 20 seconds. from a coverage perspective. if you go out in public, please, please wear a face covering to protect other people from the virus and you might be unknowingly spreading, and please cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. >> you know, earlier this week i interviewed the director of the c.d.c., dr. robert redfield. and it's clear when you kind of look at the structural deficits in the country on ppe, you know, nobody knew what ppe was before, but, personal protective equipment on ventilators, on things that were needed and they had to be created overnight, essentially. it made it town crazy. it made a lot of tension crazy. another element of this and we are going to be discussing it shortly in a few minutes is contact tracing and testing. how confident are you that we're
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getting all of those elements in place that we're going to be able to reopen the economy responsibly? >> that's a great question. i'll put it another way, why are we in a better place to reopen things now when we were closing things down just a few weeks to months ago and what i would tell people is, we've learned a lot about this virus in the last several weeks. we've also increased capacity on a federal, on a state, and on a local level. thank you to america for really doing your part and helping us flatten the curve. remember, flattening the curve wasn't about saying we're going to get rid of the virus. the virus is going to be here for a while. flattening the curve wasn't about saying that the virus is not going to be as contagious or as deadly. it's really about making sure we didn't overwhelm our health care capacity and that we didn't continue to build up our health care capacity to respond and most places across the country
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have successfully done that, but we still have to figure out how we live with the virus. and so, we know now, again, more about spread and we can take precautions. the things i mentioned earlier are things that people are doing more now in terms of cleaning and in terms of coverage, and in terms of surveillance, and in terms of celebration. we also know that hospitals have better personal protective equipment, have more ventilators, have more capability to be able to respond and so, while we're not saying it is without risk to reopen, we certainly feel like we have more tools available at the local and at the state levels and at the federal level when you look at the national stockpile to be able to respond quickly if we see resurgence and not have as high of a peak as we had previously. >> now, i know you're the nation's doctor so you try to help people to think differently about their hygiene and early on you talked about people washing their hands, about touching,
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about the various kinds of things you talked about, distancing and what not, which i think are big issues and self-disclosure, i went to high school in japan, we learned to bow, we didn't do a lot of handshaking. they wore masks in japan. what are the things we need to look at boutique silly things that people do that we're going to have to be more comfortable with and built into our social interactions. >> everyone asks when are we going to get back to normal? i think that it's important that people wrap their heads around we're not going back to the way things were and we frankly shouldn't go back to the way things were. there are silver linings to this and things that we've learned that will help us move forward in the future. for instance. things that protect you from covid-19 also protect you from flu. and people forget this two years
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ago, we had a flu season that killed 80,000 people if we continue to practice good hygiene, that will help us prevent flu deaths in the future even if we are able to overcome covid-19 and we note that we saw a big decrease in many communities in vaccine confidence in the past several years and that concerns me. if we get a vaccine for covid-19. it's still not going to help out if we don't get people to embrace it. so i'm hopeful if more people are talking about vaccinations that we're going to improve vaccine confidence. telehealth. we've rapidly expanded to telehealth services across the nation and that's something i hope doesn't go away after covid-19 and we're looking to enshrine in place to get people to access to coverage in rural communities and also in places where you've got a single mom
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and she's taking care of kids and she's working and she doesn't have time to go to the doctor's office from 9 to 50 before covid-19. and keeping in place virtually. there are things i haven't seen in person in years and i otherwise wouldn't talk to because culturally we think wait until you see them in person. that said we've been in touch with them virtually now because it can connect and promote togetherness and that has an impact as well. we're now talking to people that are connected and i'm worried about disconnected communities and vulnerable communities and you have an initiative on
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prosperity and community health aligned with one another and linked at it. you're in my view one of the brave people in the administration saying we have communities out there. many communities of color that are disadvantaged, disconnected. it's hitting them hard and kind of what i would consider a systemic racism that has distanced them from a lot of this. i guess my question is what do we need to hear and think about, about doing much more, not just talking about it, but realizing that our health is related to their health and their health is going to affect our health. how do we even that element out and maybe tell me a little about your community health and economic prosperity initiative? >> well, thank you for that. my community health and economic prosperity initiative is all about making the case that we can't be successful as businesses, as communities, economically if we don't pay attention to poor health. we know the number two expense for most companies out there is health care. and we know that the united
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states has some of the highest health care costs in the world, but we haven't getting value on our investment. we still see infant morality rates, obesity rates, hypertension rates that are well above the average, and in a bad way. despite spending more per capita on health care than anyone else in the world. so, my initiative is really-- and it was born before covid, but was really about helping businesses and communities understand when you invest in complete streets and clean air laws and invest in things we know give people the opportunity and the environment where they can more easily make healthy choices, that it benefits not just them individually, but creates a healthier work force, to make sure that destinations where people want to move to and ultimately lower turnover and increases the pool that you have
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support from. and critically people understand that and we've seen that come to bear in the midst of covid in a very tangible and significant way. unemployment numbers coming out and showing again, when you have a health issue, it ultimately turns into an economic issue, so i hope that as people start to reopen and think about rebuilding and think about resilience, they think about that interconnecttivity and lifting up. excuse me. i actually have allergies here in the washington d.c. area. >> we'll take your word for it. we'll take your word for it. [laughter] >> but again, we know that when we don't pay attention to these things, that the vulnerable community, particularly communities of color suffer disproportionately and that's not just covid-19. that has to do with flu, that has to do with cancer, with diabetes, with heart disease, and my hope, my true hope from all this is that as we shine a
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light on these disparities, we dig into some of the underlying causes of disease and really help people not just survive covid, but help them survive in the long run from chronic diseases, from noncommunicable diseases like high blood pressure, like diabetes and like cancer and we're doing that with the white house opportunity and recovery county-- or revitalization council, but doing that at hhs, promoting hypertension control. promoting maternal health and i have a call to action on morbidity and health. and all of these things create the environment and circumstances to put you either at risk to disease or help you become resilient to disease. >> right now we have a race to a vaccine, anti-virals. i guess we've got 110 or maybe more clinical trials to find a vaccine. one of the issues that's begun to percolate out there is will that vaccine be able to reach
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those people who can't afford it, can't pay for it, can't cover it? are you confident we'll solve the cost problem and access problem once the vaccine is achieved? >> i can only speak to me, but to answer your question, yes, based on my conversations with the task force and throughout hhs and with the secretary, i personally feel confident we will be able to solve the cost and price problem. this is an issue where, again, people are seeing it's far too important -- and i've worked for most of my life trying to help people understand why it's important you make the flu vaccine available to people at low or no cost because if a person gets the flu, it impacts not just them, but their family, and their entire community. we see the same thing with covid-19. we will not be able to reopen, even if we have a vaccine, if we don't have vaccine updates and so i know there's a commitment on the part of the federal government and on part of the business community in making sure that vaccines are available
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for covid-19 when they become developed, at no cost or at extremely low cost. now, reimbursement and cost is not the same as access. access still has to be built on a foundation of trust so it's important that we make sure that we're bringing in vulnerable communities, communities are color, and involving them in the studies and also doing outreach to those communities right now to make sure if we do have a vaccine, that even if it is free that they'll come in and get it or that they will actually take the vaccine. >> let me ask you a final question. it occurs to me, one of your predecessors has written a book on loneliness, and i interviewed the mayor of miami the other day that made the chilling comment we may not be paying to it, but covid a leaving mental health
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carnage and we may see major spikes in suicide and domestic violence we're not hearing about now and these are parts of the public health equationings and i wonder what you think, what do you want americans to hear right now what they can do on their mental health front at a point we're all forced to be isolated and kind of have a loneliness almost as a result? >> well, thank you for that and again, just as i've been working on my community health and economic prosperity initiative long before covid-19, dr. murphy, one of my friends, is working on his loneliness initiative before covid-19. these were long before the virus came to our doorstep. they've been amplified because of the virus. social distancing and physical distancing does not have to mean
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social disengagement. there are new ways to communicate that there hasn't been before. there's a destigmatization of mental health. i'm working with the nba and prevent veteran suicide prevention for people who traditionally held a lot of stigma with mental health when you talk about athletes and talk about people in the military and to really help them understand that mental health is just as important and should be held in just as high a regard as your physical health and we're really seeing that start to gain some traction now with covid. one of the things i say to people is if you find yourself struggling or just want someone to talk to, remember, you're not alone. there's a help line call 800-273-talk. for free and for support. >> with that i want to thank
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general jerome adams anchoring our discussion on health guardrails. thanks so much. i hope we can have a conversation down the road where we will have achieved a lot and we're in a different place. thanks for joining us today. >> thank you, and parents get your kids vaccinated, critically important, we into that vaccination rates and recent wmmr are trending down, but it's important to reach out to your physician. the american pediatrics launched a new call your pediatrician campaign. this time last year we were fighting outbreaks of measles and we're set up again for them after covid-19. we want to make sure we're protecting our most vulnerable, particularly from diseases which there is a vaccine. measles, whooping cough. please, talk to your provider. make an appointment and figure out how to get your child vaccinated today. >> thanks for that important message. >> thank you. >> next illinois congressman rodney davis on his wheels on wheels for kids act which


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