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Fauci: Coronavirus surge 'superimposed' on current spike possible in coming weeks

Top infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: Manchin makes the rounds after pivotal role in coronavirus relief debate Overnight Defense: White House open to reforming war powers | Army base might house migrant children | Fauci scolds military on vaccine Overnight Health Care: CDC study links masks to fewer COVID-19 deaths | Relief debate stalls in Senate | Biden faces criticism over push to vaccinate teachers MORE said on Sunday that a coronavirus surge "superimposed” on the current spike could emerge in the weeks after Thanksgiving. 

Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told NBC News’s “Meet the Press” that the increase in U.S. cases would be almost vertical if shown on a graph. 

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He acknowledged that while health experts warned Americans not to travel for or spend Thanksgiving with people outside of their household, “people are not always going to do that.”

“So what we expect, unfortunately, as we go for the next couple of weeks into December, that we might see a surge superimposed upon that surge that we're already in,” he said.

“When I give that message, I don't want to frighten people, except to say it is not too late at all for us to do something about this, because as we travel back, to be careful when we go back to where we are, to just continue to do the things that we've been talking about,” he added. 

Fauci pointed to states that have instituted coronavirus restrictions involving mask wearing, social distancing and limits on gatherings, saying in those states, the COVID-19 cases curve starts to flatten.

“So we know we can do something about it particularly now as we get into the colder season and as we approach the Christmas holidays,” he said.

The prominent health expert said he plans to instruct President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Myanmar military conducts violent night raids Confidence in coronavirus vaccines has grown with majority now saying they want it MORE, who will be inaugurated on Jan. 20, to pursue “much broader blanket” testing across the country.

The U.S. surpassed 13 million coronavirus cases on Friday, after reaching 12 million cases only six days prior. The number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations have reached an all-time high of more than 91,000, with more than 18,000 Americans in the intensive care unit, according to the Covid Tracking Project

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned people not to travel or gather with groups outside of their immediate household for Thanksgiving, but in the days before the holiday, millions of people got on flights.