By Betsy Klein, CNN
Updated 7:54 PM ET, Tue June 16, 2020
(CNN)Vice President Mike Pence, the leader of the administration’s coronavirus task force, is publicly painting a rosy picture of the pandemic through his words and actions amid President Donald Trump’s push to reopen the country and resume campaigning.
But despite the administration’s efforts to declare the pandemic over, 18 states are currently experiencing an increase in cases. And health officials have implored Americans to heed task force guidelines — including wearing a mask and social distancing — to slow the spread, and a key model used by the White House is now projecting more than 200,000 deaths by October.
“We may be done with the pandemic, but the pandemic is not done with us,” Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, said during a STAT Conversation on Tuesday.
“It makes sense why so many Americans are feeling like we’re done, and they’re feeling a certain sense of apathy,” he said.
Jha said it boils down to three things.
“First, is that they were told that if we shut down and really kind of bend the curve, that we will we will be passed the worst and everything will work out,” he said.
Secondly, early data and models “seemed to imply that all of a sudden the virus would go away in June, July and August.” But that’s not likely.
And third, Jha said Americans are over it because of “communication from our president, who has clearly has moved on.”