Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care — ObamaCare gets record numbers Fans attending Super Bowl LVI to be given KN95 masks The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Breaking: Justice Breyer to retire MORE, the country’s top infectious disease expert, warned on Monday that the U.S. could be in a “really bad situation” if the number of new coronavirus cases confirmed daily does not drop to 10,000 by next month.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a livestreamed interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association that he is basing that number on the expected emergence of the flu in the fall as well as the return of colder weather, which will likely drive more people indoors, where health experts say COVID-19 spreads more easily.
"If we don't get them down, then we're going to have a really bad situation in the fall," Fauci said, according to NBC News.
Currently, the U.S. is seeing between 50,000 and 70,000 new COVID-19 cases identified per day, with a seven-day average of 61,815, according to New York Times data.
In his interview, Fauci said the coronavirus follows a “real and potential pattern” as demonstrated in Southern and Western states weeks ago. He said the percentage of positive tests rises first and then the number of cases.
"You may need to pause. You may need to drop back a little bit," he advised states experiencing the spikes, so the U.S. can reduce the number of cases. "I don't think you necessarily have to revert to going all the way back to closing."
Fauci said states such as Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Minnesota are starting to see surges in the percentage of positive tests.
The U.S. has confirmed more than 4.6 million cases across the country, leading to at least 155,196 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Arkansas, California, Florida, Montana, Oregon and Texas all reported their highest single-day death tolls last week, Reuters reported.
Schools across the country are deciding whether to return to in-person instruction during the pandemic this autumn. Fauci has warned that young children can still contract and spread COVID-19, even if they typically do not get seriously sick.