Fauci: Nation faces ‘a whole lot of trouble’ as US COVID-19 cases increase
With fall officially here, the U.S. is experiencing an influx of new COVID-19 cases along with the chillier weather, a trend public health experts predicted as summer came to a close and activities began to shift indoors.
Data compiled by the New York Times reveals a 19 percent increase in new coronavirus cases over the past two weeks, with 45,927 new cases reported on Oct. 12 across the country. Many states in the Midwestern part of the U.S. are spearheading the increase.
Speaking on CNBC, Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, confirmed that the nation is headed down a troubling road.
“I think we’re facing a whole lot of trouble,” he said to reporter Shepard Smith. A high baseline of infections varying between 40,000 to 50,000 per day along with high percent positivity rates serve as indicators of more positive cases, hospitalizations and even more fatalities, Fauci explained.
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The cold weather forcing people indoors will only propagate viral transmission. More time indoors instead of outdoors — or more time in enclosed spaces with circulated air — will contribute to an acceleration of respiratory-borne illnesses.
“We’re in a bad place now. We’ve got to turn this around,” Fauci noted.
Repeating the same public health messaging he and other public health experts have been saying as more knowledge about the coronavirus emerged, Fauci said simple health protocols must still be practiced to help improve the country’s situation.
“If we do five fundamental things: universal wearing of masks, maintaining physical distance, avoiding congregate settings or crowds as it were, doing things more outdoors as opposed to indoors, and washing hands frequently, those simple things…can certainly turn around the spikes that we see and can prevent new spikes from occurring.”
Saying he has “a great deal of faith” in the American people, Fauci wants to impress that adopting these public health protocols is not antithetical to reopening and supporting the economy.
“Public health measures is not meaning to shut the country down,” he said, saying that mandatory public health protocols intend to support the economy for a gradual reopening while still keeping new case counts low.
“It’s not an obstacle, it’s actually an avenue to keeping the country open,” Fauci stated.
Johns Hopkins data show that the U.S. continues to lead the world in COVID-19 cases, reporting more than 7.8 million positive tests throughout the course of the pandemic.
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