Dr. Birx warns of 'very different spread' of COVID 19

The CDC is forecasting that another 12,000 to 20,000 deaths are possible by Election Day.
5:24 | 10/10/20

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Transcript for Dr. Birx warns of 'very different spread' of COVID 19
The world health organization announcing a new global record in daily coronavirus cases. The CDC now forecasting another 12,000 to 20,000 deaths are possible by election day. This, as Ohio's governor pleads with people to wear masks calling not wearing them the biggest threat to our economy. ABC's Trevor Ault has the latest. Reporter: This morning, ten months into the coronavirus outbreak a new record high in global cases. 350,000 infections reported Friday, Europe topping 100,000 for the first time and more than half the United States seeing cases climb. What's been really heartbreaking for me is seeing entire families admitted to the hospital. Reporter: The number of hospitalized Americans jumping to 34,000, a spike of 4300 in five days with 11 states hitting record hospitalizations over the course of the week. We have 20 of our 24 beds occupied by covid patients this is definitely putting a tremendous amount of pressure on our community. Reporter: Potentially explosive viral spread happening around the country. In Maine, 400 people possibly exposed after a hockey ref tested positive. A week into in-person learning in Florida's miami-dade county, four schools now reporting cases. One Wisconsin bar owner sharing his battle from a hospital bed. I want everybody to know that this is real. Reporter: In the small Oklahoma town of Chelsea, every police officer is now in quarantine. We were fearful of this since March. Reporter: And health experts fear the country could continue trending backward. White house coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah birx warning the northeast. We do see some of those early signs that there's early asymptomatic silent spread. Reporter: But already so many families torn apart. 17-year-old Alvia Ramirez, a high school senior in north Dakota, the state's youngest to die from the virus. So I hope people do wear masks and take this virus seriously so no one else has to go through this pain that we are going through. Reporter: And around the country there's more signs of industries bracing for a long fight against this virus. Here on Broadway performances are now canceled until at least June of next year. Eva. Trevor Ault for us in new York. Let's bring in Dr. Jennifer Ashton. Dr. Ashton, thanks so much for being with us. President trump spoke about his condition last night in his first on-camera interview since being diagnosed with coronavirus. Did anything medically JP out at you and does it say anything about whether it's safe for him to resume those in-person events? From a medical perspective, Eva, nothing really surprising there. It was really just the patient's perspective of his experience with covid-19. It would have been nice to hear how the first lady is doing and I really have to caution, there are so many doctors trying to connect the dots on the president's personal health right now and his disease course. Unless you are looking at the president's medical record, that is complete speculation and in terms of his appearance today and resuming schedule I think we have to go by the CDC guidance which says clearly, ten days from the first onset of symptoms or two sequential negative tests 24 hours apart. It is very possible that the president will be meeting both of those criteria but we cannot speculate on this. Yeah, Dr. Ashton, there's a lot we don't know. A lot of details that we still don't know. The CDC has added overweight to its possible risk factors for getting severely ill from covid-19. How concerned should people be about those extra pounds right now? Well, I think they should always be concerned. Overweight is defined as a body mass index of 25 to 30. Obese is above 30. When you're talking about the overweight category, that's about 70% of the U.S. Population so it is a lot of people. Theory is that that fat tissue is hormonally and metabolically active and increases inflammation. So right now just one more reason to tackle but to be clear, Eva, both overweight and obesity are considered chronic conditions. So this is not easy to just deal with on the drop of the dime. Yeah, definitely not easy for people dealing with that. The CDC's study also has something on hot spots showing an urgent need to address transmission among young adults. Why is that such a crucial component to containing the virus? So they tracked data in June and July of hotspots all over the country and found that there was an increase in rates amongst people 0 to 24 years of age and then 3 to 4 weeks later we saw subsequent increases in older high-risk adults really driving the point home that this population, 24 and younger is key, not just for their own protection, but for the protection of the more vulnerable groups. Dr. Jen Ashton, always helping us break down the science.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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