The nation's top public health official is warning Americans that the second wave of COVID-19 could be more devastating.

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As of this writing, COVID-19 has killed over 45,000 Americans. On Monday, President Donald Trump projected 50 to 60 thousand Americans will die from the virus, which is down from initial projections of 100,000 to 200,000.

On Tuesday, CDC Director Robert Redfield told the Washington Post a second wave of coronavirus next winter could be worse.

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“We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time," Redfield told Washington Post. “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. And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean.”

The head of the CDC believes federal and state officials must be ready and be prepared for what might come next winter. He stressed American's must continue to practice social distancing once stay-at-home orders are lifted.