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US health secretary warns 'window is closing'

Azar pointed to a recent spike in infections, particularly in the South.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Friday, April 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is stressing that “the window is closing” for the U.S. to take action to effectively curb the coronavirus.

Azar pointed to a recent spike in infections, particularly in the South. He says people have “to act responsibly” by social distancing and wearing face masks especially “in these hot zones.”

Azar argued that the U.S. is in a better position than two months ago in fighting the virus because it is conducting more testing and has therapeutics available to treat COVID-19.

But he acknowledges that hospitalizations and deaths could increase in the next few weeks, because it is a lagging indicator.

Texas and Florida reversed course on parts of their reopening and clamped down on bars on Friday as the daily number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the U.S. surged to an all-time high of 40,000.

Azar spoke on NBC and CNN.

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