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Report: Experts warn that coronavirus can possibly spread through talking, breathing


Warning sent to the White House Wednesday night

Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

Dr. Harvey Fineberg, chairman of a committee with the National Academy of Sciences, says that the coronavirus can be also possibly be spread even by talking and breathing.

Fineberg is also the former dean of the Harvard School of Public Health.

What are the details?

Fineberg presented the White House with a Wednesday night report on his research.

According to CNN, Fineberg wrote, "While the current [coronavirus] specific research is limited, the results of available studies are consistent with aerosolization of virus from normal breathing."

The letter added, "Currently available research supports the possibility that [coronavirus] could be spread via bioaerosols generated directly by patients' exhalation."

Fineberg added that wearing face masks in public is imperative.

Further, on Wednesday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams requested that the Centers for Disease Control review protocol on the advice of wearing face coverings in public.

On NBC's "Today" Wednesday, he admitted that he asked the CDC about the possibility, nothing that new research shows "there is a significant amount of asymptomatic spread."

"I'm not going to wear a surgical mask," Fineberg told CNN, "because clinicians need those. But I have a nice western-style bandana I might wear. Or I have a balaclava. I have some pretty nice options."

CNN reported that Fineberg insisted, however, that the coronavirus isn't as infectious as tuberculosis or measles.

"If you generate an aerosol of the virus with no circulation in a room, it's conceivable that if you walk through later, you could inhale the virus," Fineberg added. "But if you're outside, the breeze will likely disperse it."

What else?

According to WBZ-TV, Fineberg noted that the U.S. could potentially beat the outbreak in just 10 weeks if it were to follow six specific steps to do so:

First, the president should give full authority to one commander who can mobilize every civilian and military asset needed to fight the pandemic.

Second, the country should make millions of diagnostic tests available to be used over the next two weeks to trace the scope of the outbreak.

Third, the country should supply healthcare workers with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and other supplies necessary to care for the sick.

The fourth step is to put everyone into five different coronavirus buckets: those known to be infected, those assumed to be infected, those who have been exposed, those not known to have been exposed or infected and those who have recovered from infection and are immune.

The next step is to inspire and mobilize the public, individuals and businesses to do their part to socially distance, help friends and neighbors, utilize their skills to make equipment, find treatments and develop innovative solutions.

And finally, we need to learn as we go and make decisions based on science. We need to think about who's most at risk, who is likely immune and how dangerous contaminated surfaces are so that we can safely decide when to reopen businesses and schools and get the economy back on track.

Fineberg added, "Rather than stumble through a series of starts and stops and half-measures on both the health and the economic fronts, we should forge a strategy to defeat the coronavirus and open the way to economic revival. If we act immediately, we can make the anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 2020, the day America declares victory over the coronavirus."

At the time of this writing, at least 245,601 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the U.S., and at least 6,058 have died because of the virus.

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