The US could enter the "most harmful time" of the pandemic as winter approaches
The U.S. could enter a more dangerous period of the coronavirus crisis as the country approaches winter season and temperatures plummet, according to a leading healthcare provider.
"We're seeing much higher growth in cases across the northern part of the US, and the northern part of the US is just a guide to what happens if the rest of the country gets cold like it will be shortly," Andy said Slavitt, former acting administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
"When families are considering meeting for Thanksgiving, they really have to think twice about putting their older parents and their younger children and college kids in contact," he told CNBC's Squawk Box Asia on Monday. "Because I think we're going to have our most dangerous time here in the US."
More than 8.6 million people in the US have been infected by Covid-19. According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 83,757 cases were reported daily on Friday.
Experts including White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, have warned that winter could be difficult and gatherings could likely take place indoors.
I think it will be light at the end of the tunnel after we get through the winter.
former acting administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Slavitt said the number of cases may not be as high as it was at the beginning of the year, but the health system could still be overwhelmed this time as workers have been tired of fighting the virus crisis for months.
"In the spring we had elective operations and other non-Covid events … temporarily halted. This is not happening now and it is unlikely to happen," he added.
"If we can't do it for ourselves or our neighbors, we (nurses, doctors, and technicians) need to take this into account when considering interacting with people," he said. "It's really important, and I think it will be light at the end of the tunnel after we get through the winter."
– CNBC's Noah Higgins-Dunn and Nate Rattner contributed to this report.