Sen. Cassidy on coronavirus: Take this seriously

Updated: Mar. 16, 2020 at 7:53 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - United States Senator Bill Cassidy called coronavirus a “sucker-punch” and said people should take it seriously and heed officials’ warnings.

Sen. Cassidy made an appearance on WAFB 9News This Morning on Monday, March 16; day one of a new normal for parents and families across Louisiana.

On Friday, March 13, Governor John Bel Edwards announced all public schools statewide would be closed, many of them until the middle of April.

ONE-STOP-SHOP: Everything you need to know related to Baton Rouge area impact of COVID-19

Cassidy says because of the sneaky pervasiveness of the coronavirus and the lack of symptoms in those infected, you should be hyper-aware of your surroundings and surfaces you touch.

“It can live on top of a countertop,” Cassidy said. “So someone may come and sneeze, or speak, and stuff falls down onto the countertop and you come along and don’t even think about it and touch your face. You’ve just communicated coronavirus.”

“You have to have such an awareness that otherwise, you’re going to expose yourself without realizing,” he said.

When comparing the new virus to the flu, Cassidy says coronavirus is something our bodies have never seen before.

“As long as you’ve been alive, the flu has been attacking your body,” he said. “You have a whole library of antibodies that kill that flu and knock it down.”

More: Confirmed cases of coronavirus reported in La.

“Our body has never seen coronavirus before. It is a sucker-punch. And it is going to be potentially so much worse than the flu," he said.

If the spread of the virus escalates in the United States to the same level as it has in the hardest-hit countries, “no state is prepared. Period. End of story.”

“It isn’t a question of Louisiana versus another. It’s a question of us all," he said.

Cassidy anticipates both drug and non-drug treatments for coronavirus to take between six months and a year to develop. The treatments will need to be tested on animals, small groups of people, and large groups of people for safety and effectiveness before being released to the general public.

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