Transcript for What you need to know about COVID-19
Hi everyone I'm Diana say no thanks for streaming with us ABC news is committed to making sure you get all the information you need to protect yourself and your family. Amid the global fight against corona virus to every day we will meet you here on ABC news live at noon to share what you need to know and answer your questions. Our own doctor Jennifer Ashton is standing by ready to take all of your questions live so tweet or ins to Graham doctor Jan. And if you're watching us on FaceBook you can put your questions in the comments section and we will try to answer as many as we can in just a moment. First let's get straight to what you need to know about the status of the new corona virus cove in nineteen. Right now the number of cases worldwide is topping 93000. Here in the US they're now at least 108 cases and the death tall has climbed to nine people. Those deaths are all in Washington State but in total cases have been confirmed in twelve states so far. With Johnson joins me now live here in New York where we have at least six. Confirmed cases wit particularly with a population here in New York so dense in the city area this is causing a lot of concern what do we know so. Are a lot of concern and growing fear we got some new information today sell kind of run through the updates here based on a press conference from me governor Andrew Cuomo also. Some of our internal sources here at ABC news you mention the six cases in New York for those cases are new. Most of them revolve around one single patient who is the first what they call suspected. Community spread patients here in New York this is a fifty year old man who lives in Westchester County that's a suburb just north of the city. Now officials are now saying that he likely spread the virus to his wife to his twenty year old son is fourteen year old daughter. And a neighbor who was also close friend who then drove him to the hospital so all of this at the moment contained within that group. Now the six cases one that we talked about earlier this week this is a 39 year old health care worker we're actually traveled to Iran and then came back. And was on self quarantine with her husband in a New York apartment. Her husband was tested that tests came back negative but as of right now we have the six positive test but officials are warning. They're just starting to ramp up the testing process here so they're telling people expect more positive cases in the coming days. And as you hear are rising numbers and you hear about community spread. People obviously start to worry about what this officials are doing to try to contain this virus what are we hearing from officials in New York. No question about it and Governor Cuomo put it this way look this is the gateway to the world New York City. People aren't close proximity we're going to see the cases spread so they're doing several things first of all. Everyone who has been in contact with those six cases. They're trying to contact. They're reaching out they're putting some of them on self quarantine for example this family the fifty year old attorney who would travel into the city's. Also attended a synagogue nearby they've reached out to people who were apps that's at services in a previous weekend it told everybody to go on voluntary quarantine. And even said look if you don't do it voluntarily the Health Department will ultimately mandate that so they're they're trying to reach voluntary accord exactly voluntary but look they're saying doing. On the other thing they're doing it this gentleman the fifty year old was a regular commuter who would take the train from Westchester County. Into Manhattan Grand Central station when the busiest train stations in the world. So they are going around and there there it. Unleashing really an unprecedented. Cleaning and disinfecting. Of all of the trains the stations the buses. You might see an notice a lot of people out there was spray bottles spraying things and wiping them down that is as one of the things are trying to do to prevent the spread. I know we're talking about New York because the city so densely populated and because that's where are seeing some of the newest cases but. Of course this isn't just limited to New York Washington State seems to be a huge area of concern what's going on there. And one of the worst outbreak so we've seen in this country have been nine and all of the nine confirmed deaths related to coated nineteen have come from Washington State. A large number of them have come from this nursing home facility in Kirkland Washington and it's just been. Awful to watch what is playing out there we know with this virus. That it impacts people who are elderly. People who have compromised immune systems and it got into this nursing home and part of the problem here Washington's Washington State officials are saying. That this was likely in the community and spreading up to six weeks ago. And just yesterday some of the new deaths that they confirmed it turns out those for people who died. Before they knew and they were hospitalized before they knew that the virus was there. We also got new information that at least a dozen firefighters. Who responded to that nursing home and who were hoping those patients. Are now exhibiting flu like symptoms so they've been told to to be put in isolation. They are being tested as well so that is really one of the major hot spots in the country right now. So unfortunate but in at least we hope that we're learning from those experiences. And getting better and better act combating this with Johnson we so appreciate it thank you. And I want to bring in. ABC's chief medical correspondent doctor Jan Ashton she's been following this virus since the beginning this morning she attended an off the record meeting with vice president and that patent pence there and medical correspondents as well. And she joins me live from the White House Jenna no. The president and the vice president held a meeting with the CEOs of the major airlines so first we want to listen in on some of the new procedures. That they announced for travelers coming in from affected areas take a listen. The risks of the average American contract in corona virus remains low. And that's largely owing. To your decision Mr. President to suspend all travel from China and the United States and quarantine them all. Americans that are returning. It's also owing to the tremendous cooperation of this industry here lines. Because in addition to suspending travel from China. He recently made the decision. Not to designate as do not travels or marys middle easterners South Korean. But we also at your direction and work with this industry so that now as of yesterday morning. All passengers on all direct flights from all airports in Italy or South Korea. Are being screened on multiple times before they board any of these airlines. Detected any heard the vice president talking about some of the new restrictions they want to place on air travel what do you make of these new developments and what else you hearing on parents. Well first I think the travel is really important Diane all the focus thus far in in the course of this whole outbreak historically. Remember we've had air travel and and we had a cruise ship. We have to broaden that scope now because not just here in this country but in other parts of the world there are other ways people travel. Obviously now we have to start looking at trains and railway systems subways we have to start looking. At automobiles we have to start looking at buses it's not just. Air travel but you know the first thing I thought of when I saw this meeting where the vice president literally left. Aaron off the record meeting went into the next room to meet with airline CEOs is that lets an airlines are a for profit industry. They usually Kera about their bottom line this time. I'm sure that's the focus and concern for them at but this is affecting people's lives. So this is kind of new territory if you will at least in terms of their response. And I think that they will be aggressive I hope they will be aggressive. Because I continue to hear from many people on my social media. Coming home from Italy. No educational information no screening. And people are really confused and their concern we have to remember some people are nervous travelers at baseline yes it isn't really. Exactly right acted and I want to bring in. More on that we on talk learning more about the spread of cold in nineteen I want to bring in Harvard epidemiologist doctor Eric Bible being. A doctor thanks for joining us I'm curious how soon we can expect to see a vaccine or some other kind of treatment to this buyers. Yeah vaccine is is the holy Grail. And shorter vaccine anti viral drugs is the next. The vaccine there won't record and we have not even done this yet it is one year's time because you'll take. Experimental phase one and then phase two and then ramp up. And potentially phase three so one year to eighteen month potentially. And that's assuming that there vaccine at the Hyatt if enough effectiveness above 8090%. In terms anti viral drugs are it's already on the market now we're retesting for this virus. Dow will take probably six to nine months but we could get some early results in late April. All right so it sounds like that the key right now is to try to find the best course of action using anti viral drugs and then more long term solution is hopefully to find a vaccine for this. Looking at the cases that already exists and got a lot of cases in California and Washington State several deaths in Washington State. Now are seeing an uptick in New York. What do places with rising numbers like these need to do and is it more urgent in some areas and others. I think it's urgent nationwide because the fact it's been circulating in Washington State for four to six weeks. Means it's most likely outside a Washington State hence why you're seeing all these other cases in California Orange County LA count me. In Silicon Valley as well. It's it's it's the fact the we're finally discovering them. Ever since though bottleneck in the testing has been lifted this past weekend. This is why we're seeing these cases it's not that because they're suddenly cropping up they were already there we we are just capturing the tip of the iceberg. And this is why the epidemic is is gonna grow in and beyond just watching things in New York but many many other states as well and just gonna go. And I want to bring doctor Jenn. Back in as well. I know some folks are scared to Latin pop blank they don't wanna catch and they may be staying home isn't necessary to avoid. Public spaces and are some riskier than others. Well first of all die and I think it's really important as we address this both as individuals and as a society to understand. Because people are confused with messaging. Something can be low risk to the general population and still high risk to us as a whole as a population. So it can be low risk to you will. But high risk to us as a country so when you talk about should you go out should you start to shelter in place just voluntarily. Everyone has their own level of risk tolerance. You know if your an 85 year old person who lives alone with multiple medical problems. And you can reduce your exposure to large crowds in known hot spots. That kind of sounds like common sense because were also in the middle of flu season. But Ford people who are at lower risk younger people people made me who are not in known hot spots at this time. I think it's premature to interrupt our day to day activities and we have to remember not every one can interrupt their dated day activities so. I think again it's important to respond based on evidence and not emotion but at the same time acknowledge that this is a stressful situation. And it's unchartered territory for us. And doctor five building I wonder you know beyond just the personal hygiene aspects of washing your hands and that would that we hear do you have any other additional tips that either people can use to protect themselves or their families are that if Aguilera. The out I think social distancing is one of the best countermeasures we have absent any vaccine or anti viral drugs and I think. You know avoiding public spaces. Could be more important especially. In Washington State and many people are saying for example in the Seattle area it's potentially have the potential to be an odd checked her that her academic. Michael Wuhan 2.0. And so for their we have to be much more strict. Elsewhere in the country I think social distancing but also you know we have to start preparing for the eventuality the potentially schools that closed for weeks. But right now I think avoiding public spaces avoiding handshakes. Is just something we have to start to change adjusting ourselves for. And how important is it for people to stay com I know it's difficult to do but sometimes the panic can be worst. Then the virus itself so what's your advice. There. He I think. You know if there's a difference being panic and being prepared. I think being prepared. And oh they say chance favors the prepared mind being prepared is more important and that mentality. Is a more for calm rational. Kind of concern and that is what we need because we need to really need to be vigilant this epidemic. As thug CDC. Doctor Nancy missing and it said it is inevitable that will transmits all likely all fifty states so we do need to be prepared. But again panic buying in these kind of hoarding it doesn't solve any public health issue and doesn't protect yourself along with. Sometimes quite the opposite package and I want to bring human and that's in question just what can people do to make sure they're being safe and responsible. But maybe not overreacting or causing more harm by preventing health care workers from getting supplies they need. Well I think that we started to address this on our coverage this week Diana I think the psychological and emotional element of this story as it grows here in the United States and across the world is really important. What people what makes people nervous is when someone says don't panic. Then they say well should I panic tomorrow YE telling me not to panic it's like when you're having a fight with your spouse and they say content now that usually does the opposite. So I think when you have experienced medical professionals we're used to communicating. With patients were frightened. An uneasy and an unchartered territory themselves. I think the same principles apply when you're talking about communicating public health information. To the masses which is. This is this is stressful this is anxiety producing here the steps that are. Being taken by the government and your local and state health authorities your jobs your schools here are the steps you can take. And as we just heard and I think this bears repeating. Taking steps to prepare isn't just a Smart idea it actually helps alleviate some of the anxiety because it lets us know. We're being productive and we do have control right now over our actions. In a situation that can at times seem out of control so again. People can go to ready dot gov. They can search under various lists this list has been up for. Over ten years it started back in 9/11 its response and Nash natural disasters. You name it the scenario is on there. Including a basic pandemic preparedness list and if you kind of go down that list pick up a couple of those things slowly. Not you know in a hoarding type of fashion. I know I've done that I've recommended that my mother do that and it it does kind of calmed things down. A lot to write great advice that you don't ration we appreciated doctor actual by our Bible thing we appreciate your time as well. Moving on though the vice president as we mentioned is coordinating the government's response to the virus and met with CEOs of major US airlines this morning and for more on that let's brief former Homeland Security advisor to president trump. And ABC contributor Tom roster spot boxer joins me now. On the phone in a time I'm curious what exactly do you think the government should be doing to respond to this right now. Diane thanks very much. And hit I think Claire don't let the doctors just that much of what they say it was that here but director court and spiritual listeners and I want to elevate this here. With a few very clear messages. Public health. Public health community has been so far failing the United States of America they know the man they know that science. But they're not eject successfully certainly keeping it clearly the American people back a key part of their mission. They're not feeling in all of the scientific and mathematical possibility that they have. They're working very hard during poker there were communicating clearly the American people mean this. This is a pandemic. The cause a delay in reporting that is significant. In Italy we had zero cases on February 20 and one week later over a thousand. It is not Heatley near property in the last week implement a corrective community mitigation action it is not a little that you. Choose from it is a primary decision. Now some of those community mitigation records are in particular order here are blocking or her partner carte or your broker Starker now. What I mean that's when any city in this country. See evidence that human to human transmission in other words not somebody that fluid or other countries. Six evidence of human to human transmission. It is indicative. Of that city having been spread in their community for a period of time already undetected that are reported that is the nature of this that he. That it went public health officials need to seriously consider. Implementing. Correct their aggressive than we've learned from the 1918 flu. Community mitigation measures meaning starting Q isolate patients closed schools for upwards of eight weeks. We can do that for a shorter period depending on the area. Starting to. Cancel large events. And I want to bring in doctor Jana and that's. That he murdered he differential. Rate of only they queued up but don't at all want. You don't want to overreact and fatigue a particular community. In Seattle they clearly have hit or Arafat have come close to hitting a 1% spread rate they just don't know it would be evident ship because were bath sixteen days. Before that how this thing operates that doesn't mainly because the schools in another city in another state. All right I want to bring in doctor Donald because I know that she was just in Washington just me with the vice president is leading all this. I doctor Jan what do you make of this appraisals the officials are failing us right now. Well here's the important thing and I and I want to be clear I think Tom's assessment and his expertise as farmland former Homeland Security. Are are very important here but it but medicine and public health are not directly. Able to be extrapolated to let's say other issues that affect our homeland security's I wanna. I want to expand it a little bit with some analogies here number one in general. I think this is a situation. Where it is critically important not to look back. But to look at the here and now and to look forward and -- give you a direct patient analogy. If someone comes in to the hospital and they have cancer and it stage four. The last thing any good doctor does is say. We'll wide inch you come in when you had that symptom a year ago or why didn't your doctor six months ago due this test. That is in the rearview mirror and there's a reason the rearview mirror is smaller than the windshield so we have to look forward and we have to focus on today. The other thing that I think is really important and you know there are all there will always be varying opinions I personally am an incredibly aggressive physician. So I like what I hear the word aggressive I want to be clear on that time. But the other analogy here that I think is really important is. This has become a political issue. I stay in my lane. I'm a physician and what comes to mind when I hear comments of what it should it could this was should've been done is be careful when you point a finger. Because three fingers are usually pointing right back at a group. And whether that's time or whether that's a party or whether that's you know an individual we don't have time for that we have to take care of people we have to take care of our society. And yes there are aggressive steps that absolutely. I think are should all be on the table right now. But you know in medicine again and in health. We don't always say to the person when they're in in potentially serious condition. Well you know that we're gonna take you to the operating room but you know you might die on the table and that's not productive. So I'm getting people panicked or are afraid or angry about something that happened in the past. I think shifts the focus from where it really should be which is. What do we know about this virus what don't we know about this virus. What can we do as individuals to protect ourselves and our society around us because this isn't just a self centered issue it's what I do has an impact on. My eighty year old parents my children at setter. And what can the government do and again. I think that that this is a complex situation it's not as simple as do AB CD and. RN and Tom I just quickly want to get your response in and I want to know what you expect to see from this White House right now. Of course but it data recorder of those things but the idea of being critical of the messaging that this state is meant to looks forward. The audio clarity of message being that this is a community effort but we need to change the Karen messaging. I believe looking forward into something clear. Something more action oriented. Here are the air individuals seeking individual steps is important but not sufficient. What I'm suggesting here that we have pat pandemic response that they had given up and Caracol ever. And we'll all their respective not just science anymore it's now man all of these curves and predictions are holding true consistently. Even those that don't agree with the 30% attack Creighton all of the numbers come from it when you apply that rate to the population. Are now realizing. That we are going to have larger numbers of sick people and we need a level with them that when their communities. Start to see human human transmission. That is Ben and pretty soon after they get that news then. That they start closing schools and taking appropriate action that the community so that we don't overwhelm our health care system that's my retirement which. All right then I thank you to our former Homeland Security advisor Tom Voss a time we appreciate taking the time thank you. And we know many of you at home also have questions surrounding this virus we have asked you to submit them and doctor Jenn is back now to answer some of those questions. Start with some from NC Grande doctor Jan first. People want to know does can sanitize or really help. OK well the long answer is yes it helps it's better than nothing anything with 60% are more at alcohol base will absolutely help. But the gold standard in reducing risk of infection and infection control. In general. Is hand washing with soap and water and study in a peer reviewed journal that I found fascinating. Show that only 5%. Of adults wash their hands properly which means. For at least twenty seconds vigorously. Rub your hands back and forth with a good latter lather as you want to actually dislodge. Larger particles and then you have to dry your hands properly if you touch faucet that you just turned on with your dirty hand. You're just re contaminating yourself so. Both are effective both are important. And yeah as if your if you can get to a saying could get to a thing. I think he wants some resources sing happy birthday or something like that to make sure you Vince revenue long enough. Yet you're supposed to sing twice but listen if you're setting next to me actually don't wanna hear me think I'm up. -- Aaron. My next question has to do it the concerns about overwhelming you know the health care system if you contract of it what the guidance for self. Parent home. Well what's important about one of the things that I actually agreed with with the last guest is that Arab health care system is already overwhelmed. I actually work in a real hospital and anyone who's been to an emergency room in the last decade knows. It's always backed up there's always a wait for beds so we don't have the built in excess capacity. To accommodate even 10% more that is true. So that's where again the individual responsibility. That we can take. Person by person really helps and not only us but helps our society and our country so. That guidance right now on people with mild viral symptoms and it the first and most reasonable question as well. How I know if I have. Cove at nineteen. You know be the short answer is you don't know. But if you are tested if you meet criteria if you have travel to an affected area or direct contact or there's even a suspicion of now. Community community spread. And then the first thing you should do is what you would do if you thought you had flu view of the fever few mild symptoms stay home. Call your health care provider if you have one if you don't have one. Call the local emergency room or local. Department of health and in they can instruct you on next steps. Obviously. Anyone at any time with any kind of severe symptom whether it's from a virus or not. Should go to an emergency room but I also want people to remember here while this is all we're talking about it in the medical help around the every single day in this country people have heart attacks they have seizures they have accidents they have asthma attacks. They go into labor so that's what an emergency room is dealing with along with it. A high eight numbers of flu. So this is not all just slits open up hospitals just for corona virus on we have to remember that those patients dealing with those other things also need care. And our next year is asking as she says I'm studying abroad in London in July how worried should I be about this. No one has a crystal ball about travel so you know what I think it when you hear what's going on in Italy and you know that basic geography of Europe there's no reason to think. That similar cases are in you know going to be popping up in the rest of Western Europe. I think it depends on your risk tolerance it depends on. And where exactly you're going what you'll be doing. You know I I can only share with you I don't have an easy answer and there are certainly no official guideline yet although Italy is now. Included in a travel restriction a high level travel restriction advisory from the United States. But I of travel planned for work. To Spain in May I have not cancel that yet my children are going to Israel in April. I have not canceled that he had. But everyone's different when it comes to their risk tolerance. And you know at this point how long viruses will live on surfaces. Everyone's asking that question Diane we definitely don't know with this virus. That's called foam might. Those particles of the virus so it's not known how long they survive on dry surfaces but we do suspect. Based on what we know about other corona viruses that it can be transmitted on people's hands so that's why when you hear. People say try not to touch your phase which is almost impossible every one does it that's because I shake someone's hand and that person has just need is. And that I shake their hand and touch my face. That's how it can be passed so hand washing hand washing hand option and then out I know we talked about self care at home at what point do people. Is there sort of a red flag that they should know that at this point they should go to the doctor well. I think first of all if you have a chronic medical condition weakened immune system your pregnant. You those are our higher risk groups if you are over the age of sixty that's a higher risk population for this corona virus not in general. But based on published data. Thus far. And at any age trust your gut. If you feel like you're getting worse and not better something is making you nervous you're having difficulty breathing. You know things like that we're not going to be giving medical advice to 330 million people it through the media when it comes it act kind of thing. Trust your instinct and certainly if you're in one of those high risk categories. If you have a health care provider you wanna speak to them sooner rather than later. But obviously any severe symptoms you you do need to go to an emergency. Our next question is it true that children are not affected. Not true but a very interesting question. Right now in Italy and South Korea and this is unpublished data. But this did just come out of the vice president's meeting and we were told it was reportable. Italy's South Korea had no deaths in the pediatric age group. Or under the age of thirty that's really important. That doesn't mean that we won't unfortunately see that in the future. But then when you look really at the pediatric age group. We don't understand why children aren't becoming sick with this it's probably unlikely that they are not getting infected. So they may be factors that's one possibility that the virus is infecting them they're not showing symptoms and then those children are helping to spread it within the community. Or it may be something in their immune system. That protects them a little it's probably the former and not the latter. How fast has this virus spread in comparison to other viruses. Definitely faster than Sar is which we saw in 2002. A by exponential factors. But. Again I I want to encourage people it's it's medically and scientifically interesting especially. For medical and science geeks like myself to compare it to other viruses. But it's not a competition and remember ultimately this. We have to stay apples to apples so. To compare it to something like people our stars. Or influenza a H1N1. 1918. That list keeps going on and on. That's interest staying there are some important factors there absolutely but ultimately we have to stay in the here and now and and focus on this and there's a lot that we don't know about this novel corona virus. This was a big question we're getting from the comments on our FaceBook live video Judy wants to know. Is it safe to fly. Judy I know that's the question. You know we have to remember if if you want really the doctor Jennifer and Sebastian answer on that. I fly all the time people fly all the time we get exposed to low levels of radiation every time we go up to 30000 feet. You know there are people who worry about it. Plane crashes on the even though statistically getting in your car is much more difficult so. That's when I say every one's risk tolerance their ability to stratified risk vs benefit is different. I personally believe it is safe to fly that's my personal opinion I have not changed any of my plans to travel. For work and I have a lot of it coming up in the next three months. However I want to stated Judy. When I get on an airplane I also worry about getting neural virus the GI virus or influenza so I wipe down my area and my tray table. And I clean my hands a lot so. I don't think rate now there's anything particularly. Different based on what we know right now. For me that has made me say no flying is not safe. All right great advice doctor Jennifer Ashton we appreciate are gonna come back through again. Before the end of the show so stick around if he can but. We do want to address some other issues going on worldwide religions worldwide are changing their practices and mid the corona virus outbreak. Iran has canceled Friday prayers that's the main congregational day of prayer in Islam. The virus has killed more than ninety people there Saudi Arabia is banning citizens from performing the Muslim pilgrimage in Mecca. No word yet on how long that ban will last but it could disrupt plans for millions. And the Catholic archdiocese in Newark, New Jersey is just one of many that has stopped offering parishioners wine from the chalice at holy communion. As we mentioned earlier members of the synagogue in west Chester New York have been ordered to self quarantine as well after suspected case there. And as common nineteen spreads so do rumors about the virus FaceBook is now cracking down removing false claims. And giving the World Health Organization free advertising so that users know what's real. We're also seeing some major price gouging online Rebecca Jarvis has more on that. Endless lines empty shelves sold out signs. In the post corona virus world this is our new reality. Pure well the new gold standard. They can't sanitize or suddenly one of the most sought after products in the world but so far are you willing to go to get your hands on a bottle on Amazon listings for a Tupac going for 84 and 99. If that was in steepen up. This seller advertising one bottle for 107. Dollars and 99 cents the markup on the and 95 masks nearly 600%. Even though the surgeon general has urged the public to stop buying them. This went on Amazon cost 200 dollars a few weeks ago they were around thirteen California's governor Gavin Newsom tweeting out. Seriously Amazon these prices are absurd. Amazon taking actions saying it will crack down on these astronomical prices removing or blocking more than one million products on its platform. For price gouging and misleading claims. And still Amazon eBay at Wal-Mart at CA have all struggled to curb this price gouging lots of places selling face masks and survival kits. Are also making dubious claims about their ability to help prevent the spread of the corona virus. And third party sellers continue to price gouge on hand sanitizing or space masks Hazmat suits. And other related products as well. Meanwhile one grocery store chain is putting limits on virus related purchases Ohio based Kroger will only allow customers to buy five sanitation or cold and flu related items per order. And just in the last few minutes and GM and universal delayed the release of the latest James Bond film to November. After a quote thorough evaluation of the global theatrical marketplace. We all crime viruses also impacting activities all over the world in Italy. The government announced it will close all schools and universities until March 15 to help limit the spread of the virus. The number of cases there has exploded since the first pots of the tests last month. Since then more than 2500. People in Italy have tested positive 79 have died. Japan says the Tokyo Olympics will be held this year but might not be in July. The Olympic minister says the contract only specifies that the summer games have to be held sometime during twenty Bonnie. The international Olympic committee's executive board is holding talks with the Tokyo officials. A number of Olympic qualifying events have already been affected by the outbreak the start date was set for July 24. And some good news from France the Louvre has announced this morning that it has re opened. The museum has been closed since Sunday due to staff fears about the virus but today employees voted overwhelmingly to resume work. After management presented new anti virus measures. The Louvre host more than nine million visitors a year. And I want to bring doctor Jennifer Ashton back now in for some final thoughts doctor Jan we've been keeping you busy on this today but. You've been helping us so much on on helping to. Decipher between fact and fiction here what what are your final thoughts on what people need to know right now to stay safe. You know Diana I think in you and I have talked about this off camera as well I think. What's important today it was important a month ago and almost two months ago but it seems to grow in importance. By the hour and by the day witches. It is more important than ever. Four every one to be comfortable with uncertainty which goes against common sense but we need to be able to say what we know and what we don't know. And in medicine and public health. Sometimes what we don't know is as or more important than what we do know. And I think that that is really important here. It's important because it's true it's important because this is a dynamic and evolving situation. And it's important because. The person that you're talking to whether that's an individual patient or the entire country will lose trust in people who say one thing yesterday. You know with that with absolute certainty and then do 180 degree turn around tomorrow. We don't know a lot in medicine and science and so when you hear someone say. We know it all we know everything. You're probably not talking to the wise this scientists or physician or public health expert so I think. That's really important and then two other terms that I want to leave people with pondering and I know we're going to be talking about this a lot. Number one this concept of tip of the iceberg. We've said it people are gonna start hearing it more and more what that means is. Yes people do suspect. And expect that there are a lot of cases under the radar undetected as we are able to test more people. We are Tennessee confirmed cases go up that's just a no brainer when you look for something in Madison you will find it a lot of the time so. Tip of the iceberg is a concept that I do you think is accurate and important. And lastly this concept of flattening the curve. I think that at some point whether it's in a community whether it's in the country or whether it's globally. There will start to be a shift between saying RA. The horse has left the barn. We this we can't really stop or contain this virus anymore but we can slow its spread and that's where. Our responsibilities. To ourselves and to our community is really really important because what you and I do. Literally can affect art not only our small circle around us that our community and and the larger population so that's another term people are going to be hearing a lot of it comes out of epidemiology but he it's really important. Flatten that her means slow the spread. Brian thank you so much doctor Jennifer Ashton we appreciate you joining us. And from your home keep it here on ABC news live for full coverage of the corona virus we will carry any and all press conferences briefings and any other updates. As they happen live and of course we will also be here. For you every day at noon going forward with news context analysis everything you need to know about cove 819. And also check out our 20/20 specially will be doing a special edition on the cove in nineteen corona virus. That's at 9 PM eastern central on Friday I'm Diana stayed O for ABC news live Stacy for everybody thanks for watching.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.