Coronavirus task force Adm. Brett Giroir said Thursday he is optimistic COVID-19 death rates will fall in the next few weeks — but is “particularly concerned” about the impact of the coming flu season.

In an interview on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” show, the assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services said COVID-19 rates are likely to follow a decline pattern now seen in hospitalizations and case numbers.

“The mortality we’re seeing today is a result of cases that were four to eight weeks ago,” he said. “So, we expect mortality to go down over the next couple of weeks, to follow the hospitalizations and case numbers.

“We’re particularly concerned about this flu season, because it will coincide with COVID,” he added.

Giroir also weighed in on the impact of the coronavirus on children, noting the rates of “severe illness . . . are very, very low.”

“Most children who do have a severe illness have an underlying condition,” he noted, but warned: “None of us would say . . . that children can’t have an ill effect, but the chances are much lower, much, much lower than adults, and certainly much lower than the elderly.”

“Every year, we have tragic losses of children with influenza,” he said. “I’m not trying to say this is the same thing, but we do know children have a better outcome with the disease than adults. And I think that’s the appropriate characterization.”Related Stories: