Fauci says it would be 'false statement' to say we have coronavirus under control

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Showdown: Trump-Biden debate likely to be nasty Tillis appears to reinforce question about COVID-19 death toll Overnight Health Care: Trump signs largely symbolic pre-existing conditions order amid lawsuit | White House puts off action on surprise medical bills | Rising coronavirus cases spark fears of harsh winter MORE said Sunday that it would be “a false statement” to say the government has the coronavirus pandemic under control.

“We are struggling to get it under control, and that's the issue that's at hand right now,” Fauci said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday. 

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Trump has several times over the course of the pandemic claimed the outbreak was "under control," including in mid-March as deaths rose in the U.S. He has, however, struck a more somber tone in the last week. He acknowledged Saturday that "there will be a lot of death" in the coming week.

"This will be probably the toughest week," Trump told reporters at a White House press briefing on COVID-19 on Saturday afternoon.

Fauci noted that mitigation efforts are showing signs of success in hard-hit states such as New York.

“This next week is going to look bad because we’re still not at that apex,” he said of New York. “Within a week, eight, nine days or so we’re hopefully going to see that turning around.”

Host Margaret Brennan also asked Fauci if the eight states that have yet to impose stay-at-home orders — Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming — are putting the nation at risk.

“It isn’t that they’re putting the rest of the country at risk as much as they’re putting themselves at risk,” Fauci responded. “Every time I get to that podium in the White House briefing room, I plead with people to take a look at those very simple guidelines of physical separation.”

The guidelines include maintaining six feet of distance between people and avoiding gatherings of 10 or more people.

Regardless of whether you live in a larger city or small town, “sooner or later, you’re going to see a surge of cases,” Fauci added.

The data in the week ahead, Fauci said, will be “shocking to some,” and he added that Americans should “continue to mitigate, continue to do the physical separation because we’ve got to get through this week that’s coming up.”