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Health chief Azar says 'window is closing' to get COVID-19 under control

Amid surge in coronavirus cases, Azar says "we have to act."

Updated: June 28, 2020 - 4:13pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

As some areas within the U.S. have experienced surges in coronavirus cases, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" emphasized the importance of COVID-19 testing and isolating those who test positive.

He highlighted several developments in the battle against the virus compared to previous months, but said, "the window is closing. We have to act." Azar called on everyone to practice precautions such as using a facial covering when they cannot engage in social distancing. 

"We've got hospital capacity in all of these areas, we have personal protective equipment and we're gonna be there to back them up. We now have treatments. We've got steroids, Remdesivir, convalescent plasma," Azar said, urging people who have recovered from the illness to donate their plasma.

"But this is a very, very serious situation, and the window is closing for us to take action and get this under control," Azar said during a separate interview on CNN's "State of the Union."

According to data from Johns Hopkins University there have been more than 2.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and more than 125,000 deaths.