White House: Now is not the time to go grocery shopping

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Grocery stores across the country remain open as they’re considered essential businesses, but now likely isn’t the best time to go shopping for those who haven’t already stocked up.

That’s because the nation’s top health officials are warning that these next two weeks will be key to slowing the spread of coronavirus, the virus that causes the deadly COVID-19 disease.

In a Sunday appearance on Fox News, the U.S. surgeon general compared this week to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, saying it will likely be the “hardest and saddest” time for most Americans during this pandemic.

"This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it's not going to be localized, it's going to be happening all over the country,” Vice Admiral Jerome Adams said.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said Saturday that now is not the time to run errands. She said the next two weeks are “extraordinarily important.”

“This is the most to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and friends safe,” Dr. Birx said.

There are more than 1.3 million confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide. The U.S. leads the way with 362,000-plus cases, including nearly 19,000 recoveries and 10,677 deaths.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease experts, estimated last week that the U.S. could see 100,000 deaths, based on models projecting the spread of the virus.