GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences’ Disaster and Operational Medicine Fellowship Director Dr. James Phillips told ‘America’s Newsroom’ Tuesday that coronavirus is inevitable but that Americans should go about living their lives.
In an interview Tuesday on “America’s Newsroom” with host Ed Henry, Phillips stressed that the vast majority of the public is “going to do just fine.”
“Most of us are going to get this virus. It’s undeniable. You won’t find a single expert out there who is saying that this is going to be contained,” said Phillips, who serves as the George Washington University School of Medicine’s operational medicine fellowship director.
“And, the more we learn about it, the more we see that the spread is going to be global and, for the most part, that’s OK because the data we know from China shows that roughly 98 to 99 percent of us are going to do very, very, well,” he told Henry.
Thus far, there are over 95,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and over 3,300 deaths worldwide. Of those cases, there are at least 129 cases and 11 deaths recorded in the United States. Washington state has been hit especially hard by the virus, with nine deaths at a nursing home near Seattle. The death rate is about 3.4 percent.
Most of those taken by the COVID-19 virus are older, infirmed, or those with weak immune systems and Phillips conceded that there is a “certain percentage” of Americans who are “going to get more sick than others.”
“The way that this virus tends to make people sick is really by giving people pneumonia. So, a lower respiratory illness as opposed to most colds that cause upper respiratory infections,” he told Henry.
Phillips said coronavirus presented itself like pneumonia in its hosts, but the strength of the virus depends on the proximity from it and the amount of time spent around it.
“The problem with pneumonia is pneumonia itself can be deadly,” he said.
Phillips’ advice during the outbreak?
“Everyone,” he said, “should take a deep breath.”