'This is a team sport': Tom Bossert on managing the pandemic

ABC Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton and former Trump Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert discuss the latest developments in the coronavirus pandemic on "This Week."
6:16 | 10/25/20

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Transcript for 'This is a team sport': Tom Bossert on managing the pandemic
As the election enters its final days the corona virus continues to rage this week 42 states reporting an increase in cases. Eighteen of those states plus Puerto Rico hitting record highs daily death surpassing 1000. Multiple times and according to an internal HHS memo obtained by ABC news almost 25%. Of hospitals. Across the country have more than 80%. Of their icu beds fail. Here with what we can expect in the coming months ABC news chief medical correspondent doctor Jennifer Ashton. An ABC news contributor and former truck homeland security and counterterrorism. Advisor. Tom Bonser good morning to you both Inge and I want to start with you those statistics are really alarming. How did we get there and what are your biggest concerns these next few weeks and months are we had it for that dark winter we've heard about. Well Martha first of all in Madison in the middle of the largest health crisis the world has seen in our lifetime I think. Looking backwards has a purpose. It's important to try to look forwards and prepare as much as possible but we have a crisis rate now in the president. That is requiring. An all hands on deck approach so I think that when people say. You know we're testing more that's responsible for the surge in cases it is true that in Madison when you look for something you of the bigger chance of finding an. But it acted last tally by Johns Hopkins there are 224113. Thousand American lives lost that's not creative data analytics that's covic nineteen doing its damage. At an end so it. Talking about that dark winter ahead we really have to hunkered it. Well I think there's no question about that I mean where seeing and it on controlled. You know damaged by this virus and we're going into colder months where the majority of the country will be indoors and this virus has shown that it spreads. Readily in that environments so. Yeah we need to turn this trend around because we are in in the third peak. And it's less than a year. And Tyler want to turn to you we know that the administration is working hard on getting a vaccine but until. That happens how do you see. The virus progressing if Donald Trump remains in office and there is no change from the present strategy and compare that. To what you've heard. Joseph Biden talking about. Yeah mark what difference would we see if he was elected. Yeah as doctor Jan just said. This virus we'll keep spreading in these numbers are we'll keep growing at less. People do something about it it's really that simple it would be nice if our leadership will be what would be on the same page you've been nice that both candidates were on the same page for that matter. But they're not and this is a team sport. At this point what happens the next four weeks of work or ten weeks is going to be up to. You know 300 plus million people and they have to change their behavior. We're now seeing not a summer reach Pete but we're seeing a wave as you pointed out not with four states being the epicenter. But with over 36. So how it I phrase that I would say. If you really want to get together with your family and friends for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas or Monica you have to change your behavior today. It's not about waiting until that morning. The president has also said he wouldn't change much about his early response and I know we don't really want to go backwards but I was struck by at Columbia University report that found that. Potentially hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved if there had be in more aggressive action from the federal government earlier on. Hear your thoughts on that report. Yet as a very interesting study and really useful a lot of ways what it did although little bit crude comparison. Was compare six different countries and their proportional mortality rate unfortunately United States is the ninth. Highest. Proportional more powder 66 out of every 100000 people have died in the United States that's not a good track record. And so the reports not clear about what degree of leadership vs implementation or policy here testing capacity. Was responsible. But one thing's very clear we could have saved more lives with a different faster approach. And what's important about looking forward is the same advice about targeted layered intervention. Early targeted layered intervention in addition to masks is that we know saves lives and we have a chance to do it again if we can get all of our county's. And communities on a coordinated. Same page. And chip I did that. A 6000 mile road trip last month and have been traveling around Pennsylvania today I am. So surprised at how few people Wear masks across the country and do not socially distance and they're really does seem to be. Pandemic. Fatigue. What do you do about that. Wal-Mart figure Rite Aid and I think that that wariness. Men frustration with this goes across the country and it goes across party lines actually you know we heard it. The World Health Organization estimate that it. Half of the European population is suffering from pandemic fatigue we've seen so far in this pandemic that what occurs in Europe tends to be a harbinger for what cut. Comes to the United States. And psychologists are saying that the fear that enveloped so much of our response to earlier this year has now been replaced by fatigue and you know if you think of this as there are two variables how the virus behaves and how we behave. Only one of those variables is under our control also Arab behavior and our psychology. Becomes critically important. Thanks so much Jenin thanks so much to you Tom we always love hearing from you.

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

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