Fauci warns US could report 100k Covid-19 cases a day if country doesn't take necessary steps to curb spread
Before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Dr Anthony Fauci said he was not satisfied with what’s going on, adding that the country is not in total control
The US could report as many as 100,000 new cases a day if the country does not take the necessary steps to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, warned Dr Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. His statement comes as four states — Arizona, California, Florida and Texas — are now recording a massive surge in new cases, turning into epicenters.
The US is reporting about 40,000 new cases a day. "I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around," he said. “I’m very concerned. I’m not satisfied with what’s going on — because we’re going in the wrong direction. Clearly, we’re not in total control," Fauci said before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
As for the predicted death toll, Fauci said: "It is going to be very disturbing, I guarantee you that.” The US still leads the world after reporting over 2.6 million cases and more than 127k deaths. According to The New York Times, other states or territories witnessing increased cases in the last 14 days include Illinois, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Washington, Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa, Mississippi, Utah, Missouri, Arkansas, Nevada, Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Delaware, Oregon, Idaho, Maine, West Virginia, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Hawaii.
Dr Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who also appeared at the hearing, urged Americans, especially the younger population, to use masks. "It is critical that we all take the personal responsibility to slow the transmission of Covid-19 and embrace the universal use of face coverings," he said. "Specifically, I'm addressing the younger members of our society, the millennials and Generation Zs," he added.
Bars and clusters
Fauci also asked Americans to stop visiting bars because they double up as hunting grounds for the coronavirus. Low ventilation in indoor spaces such as bars makes them vulnerable to outbreaks. "Bars: really not good, really not good. The congregation at a bar, inside, is bad news. We really have got to stop that," Fauci testified at the hearing.
Others have also expressed similar concerns. Texas Governor Greg Abbott told reporters that the spike in the state was driven by people congregating in bars. Experts have traced a cluster of infections to these venues. For instance, in Lousiana's Baton Rouge, at least 100 positive cases were from people who visited multiple Tigerland bars. Similarly, in Michigan, about 85 people developed the disease after visiting a bar. More young Americans are getting infected in the recent past, according to the CDC.
Following the surge, bars across the four worst-hit have closed their doors. Arizona's Governor Doug Ducey ordered bars, gyms, movie theaters and other businesses to stay shut for 30 days. Despite the threat, some Americans have refused to follow safety guidelines such as practicing social distancing or wearing masks. “We’ve got to get that message out that we are all in this together. And if we’re going to contain this, we’ve gotta contain it together," Fauci said.