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Dr. Mehmet Oz said President Trump presented the American people with a "somber" truth when he said at a press conference Tuesday that the country could see 100,000 to more than 200,000 people die of the coronavirus.
“In medicine, you always tell people what’s really going to happen; that’s when they trust you,” Oz told “Fox & Friends" on Wednesday.
“Folks have an unbelievable ability to cope if they know what’s coming at them. That’s I think what is happening in the United States.”
Oz's comments came after the White House coronavirus task force on Tuesday pleaded with Americans to abide by the administration’s extended social distancing guidelines to slow the spread of coronavirus as Trump told Americans to brace for “a very painful two weeks" and warned of thousands of more virus-related deaths.
"The surge is coming, and it’s coming pretty strong," the president said in the White House briefing room in a lengthy press conference that lasted more than two hours.
The extension of the social distancing guidelines comes after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other public health officials on the White House coronavirus task force ominously warned that even if the U.S. were to continue to do what it was doing -- keeping the economy closed and most Americans in their homes -- the coronavirus could still leave 100,000 to 240,000 people in the United States dead and millions infected.
Without any measures in place to mitigate the contagion's spread, those projections jump to between 1.5 and 2.2 million deaths from COVID-19, officials said.
“Most of our governors are echoing the same reality. I say most, not all,” Oz said.
“Once you see what’s going on in New York, ... you recognize how bad this could be."
The focus for the country, Oz said, has to be on preventing other hotspots from popping up. He stressed that rural Americans must realize that they need to take preventative measures now to avoid an outbreak in their area.