Surgeon General says US has 'turned the corner' on coronavirus testing

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U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told "Hannity" Tuesday the country has "turned the corner" on coronavirus testing and will start to collect necessary information about the trajectory of the virus as more tests become available to the public.

"There is in fact good news," Adams said. "We turned the corner on testing, we have now done more testing in the last eight days than [South] Korea has done in eight weeks. That will give us ... better information."

"We turned the corner on testing. We have now done more testing in the last eight days than Korea has done in eight weeks.

— Dr. Jerome Adams, 'Hannity'

Adams said the decreasing number of cases in China and Italy prove the effectiveness of social distancing and echoed President Trump in expressing the hope that coronavirus restrictions could be scaled back "sooner than we thought."

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"We see China is now starting to reopen," he said. "We see cases in Italy ... that gives us hope that if we lean into these mitigation efforts for the next several days, the way the president has said, that we can be reopening again sooner than what we thought."

Adams emphasized that different areas throughout the country will respond in accordance with their outbreak status, and predicted that the next several weeks will be rough for New York City, which has become the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States.

"We will continue to see cases go up, unfortunately, likely for the next several weeks, but that's why we are sending a team to New York City," Adams said. "That's why we have a Navy [hospital] ship on the way to provide relief. They got 4,000 ventilators today. We are going to go all in to protect and help the health care workers and the people of New York City."

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"But in Idaho, they are in a different situation," Adams added. "So, we want to use the data, the information to make informed decisions about what people should be doing in different parts of the country."

When asked to comment on the anti-malarial drugs touted by President Trump as a potential treatment for coronavirus patients, Adams said he is still waiting on more data before making a formal recommendation, but remains hopeful.

"It is one of those things where people don't understand that you can both have hope, but still as a scientist or physician want to verify," he explained.

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"We are hopeful that these medications will work, we have heard some powerful anecdotal stories, but we want to make sure we are tracking what we are seeing right now. In New York City, doctors are prescribing [hydroxychloroquine] off-label because at the end of the day, if your loved one is dying, you want to be given the right to try whatever is possible."

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Adams admitted that if he or a family member was given the option to take hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine on an experimental basis, he would "try anything that I could to help keep them alive."

"That's what we want to get," he concluded, "is that opportunity to keep everyone's loved ones alive."