SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The chief of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday warned that a second wave of coronavirus expected to hit this winter could be deadlier than the current outbreak.

“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” CDC Director Robert Redfield told the Washington Post, saying it would likely coincide with peak flu season.

“And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean, Redfield added.

Two simultaneous outbreaks of respiratory infections would dramatically strain the health care system, he said.

According to Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 827,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US, with more than 45,000 deaths recorded. In California alone there are more than 33,000 confirmed cases.

President Trump has pushed for the return of normalcy, most recently giving all governors a road map last week for recovering from the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic.

California Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled the state’s tentative plan last week, saying that 6 key things must happen in order for stay-at-home restrictions to loosen and the economy to reopen.

Redfield said both state and federal officials need to use the next few months wisely and prepare for a worst-case scenario.

As stay-at-home orders are lifted in some states like Georgia, officials need to stress the importance of social distancing and hand washing, he said.

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