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A top federal health official is issuing a stark warning: Follow recommended coronavirus measures or risk having the worst fall in US public health history.

Coronavirus has infected more than 5 million people and killed over 166,000 nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. On Wednesday alone, there were 55,910 reported new cases and 1,499 deaths — the highest number of fatalities since May.

“For your country right now and for the war that we’re in against Covid, I’m asking you to do four simple things: wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and be smart about crowds,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I’m not asking some of America to do it,” he told WebMD. “We all gotta do it.”

Without following the recommendations, this could be “the worst fall, from a public health perspective, we’ve ever had,” he said. In addition to taking measures to combat the pandemic, people should also get a flu vaccine.

“By getting vaccinated, you can protect your children,” he said. “When we look at the mortality that we see with flu, one thing is for certain. The kids that get vaccinated, they basically get protected against death.”

The CDC has bought 10 million doses of the flu vaccine for uninsured adults this year, compared to the typical 500,000 doses. On coronavirus vaccines, Redfield is cautiously optimistic one or more vaccines will be ready by the start of 2021.

Anti-vaxxers ramp up conspiracy theories

There are 270 active trials for coronavirus treatments, experts say.

And anti-vaxxers have taken to social media to spread lies about the future coronavirus vaccine. Some include claims it contains monkey brains or that it’s a CIA plot to take over the world. Others allege the vaccine will include an invisible trackable tattoo or it will disfigure those who take it.

As the lies spread, the government’s multi-billion-dollar vaccine effort has yet to come up with a public education campaign to counteract the propaganda.

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