(The Center Square) – U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Sunday described the next week in the country's fight against COVID-19 as "our Pearl Harbor moment."
Adams made the statement on NBC-TV's "Meet the Press" when host Chuck Todd asked him how he would advise the nine U.S. governors who have not issued stay-at-home orders.
"Here's what I would say to them right now: The next week is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment. It's going to be our 9/11 moment," Adams said. "It's going to be the hardest moment for many Americans in their entire lives. We really need to understand that if we want to flatten that curve and get to the other side, everyone needs to do their part."
The latest projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations forecasts the U.S. will reach its peak for daily COVID-19 deaths on April 16.
IHME, an independent health population research center at the University of Washington Medicine, said its model shows the U.S. will reach a high of 2,644 COVID-19 deaths a day on April 16. It forecasts 93,531 COVID-19 deaths in the country by Aug. 4.
The model shows the U.S. will reach a hospital-resource-use peak on April 15, when 262,092 hospital beds are predicted to be needed, including 39,727 intensive care unit beds. IHME projections indicate the U.S. will have a shortage of 87,674 hospital beds and 19,863 ICU beds on that date.
"If you can't give us 30 days, governors, give us a week," Adams said. "Give us what you can so that we don't overwhelm our health-care systems over this next week and then let's reassess at that point."
The nine states that do not have statewide stay-at-home orders include Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
As of Sunday morning, there have been at least 8,483 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the U.S., with more than 312,000 confirmed cases.