CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus is likely to be even more devastating

CDC Director Robert Redfield on Tuesday warned that a second wave of the novel coronavirus will be far more dire because it is likely to coincide with the start of influenza season. "There's a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through," Redfield said.

CDC Director Robert Redfield on Tuesday warned that a second wave of the novel coronavirus will be far more dire because it is likely to coincide with the start of influenza season. "There's a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through," Redfield said. "And when I've said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don't understand what I mean. We're going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time." He noted that having two simultaneous respiratory outbreaks would put an increasingly heavy strain on the health care system. Redfield said federal and state officials must use the coming months to prepare for what lies ahead. They need to massively scale up their ability to identify the infected through testing and find everyone they interact with through contact tracing. Former CDC director Tom Frieden has estimated that as many as 300,000 contact tracers would be needed in the United States. The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials estimate 100,000 more contact tracers are needed than are in the states now and call for $3.6 billion in emergency funding from Congress.