Federal Update: CDC Chief Issues Stark Warning on Possible Second Wave, Another 2.4M File Jobless Claims, Busy Hurricane Season Expected but Coronavirus Could Impact Response

May 21, 2020

  • As the world reached 5 million confirmed coronavirus cases Thursday, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said he can't guarantee whether a second round of lockdowns is coming as a possible second wave of the virus looms. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Robert Redfield said he "can't guarantee" whether or not a second round of stay-at-home orders is coming for the United States in the winter as the new coronavirus may see a second wave that coincides with cold weather and a flu season. "I can't guarantee; that's kind of getting into the opinion mode, we have to be data driven. What I can say is that we are committed to using the time that we have now to get this nation as overprepared as possible," Redfield told the newspaper in an interview.
  • About 2.4 million Americans filed initial unemployment benefit claims last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as the health and economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus ruptures a growing number of industries. In just nine weeks, more than 38 million have sought jobless benefits that represent the nation’s most reliable gauge of layoffs. The latest claims tally was down from the 3 million who filed claims the week before, and the record 6.9 million who sought assistance in late March. Initial applications for unemployment insurance have now steadily declined seven weeks in a row.
  • The federal government expects a busy hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin with six to 10 hurricanes forming, forecasters said Thursday. The announcement comes against the backdrop of the coronavirus, which will almost certainly impact evacuations and shelter from approaching storms. Speaking about the coronavirus, Carlos Castillo, acting deputy administrator for resilience at FEMA, said “social distancing and other CDC guidance to keep you safe from COVID-19 may impact the disaster preparedness plan you had in place, including what is in your go-kit, evacuation routes, shelters and more. With tornado season at its peak, hurricane season around the corner, and flooding, earthquakes and wildfires a risk year-round, it is time to revise and adjust your emergency plan now.” 


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