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Fauci warns of fall coronavirus dangers: 'We are entering into a risk period'

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSix notable moments from Trump and Biden's '60 Minutes' interviews Pence travel questioned after aides test positive Fauci: We'll know whether a vaccine is safe, effective by early December MORE, the U.S.’s top infectious diseases expert, warned Tuesday that the country is “entering into a risk period” for rising coronavirus infections as fall begins.

Asked by CNN’s Sanjay Gupta “how bad … this could get” in the fall, Fauci responded, “It’s always the balance of trying not to frighten people at the same time of trying to jolt them into a realization of what needs to be done to protect themselves as individuals and the country.”

“We are entering into a risk period and we’ve got to act accordingly as we enter into that risk period,” Fauci said.

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“If you look at our country, there are some areas that are doing quite well. It isn’t a situation where everything seems to be spiking and going in the wrong direction. There are some areas that are doing quite well,” he added. “We can use them as a model … of getting a low level of test positivity where you’re talking about 1 percent or less, or a fraction of a percent.”

“What worries me is that in those areas of the country, which is a large country, heterogeneous in many ways, if you don’t have the control now as we get towards the end of September, of getting such a low percentage that it is entirely manageable … when things change that work against you — and what works against you now is we’re getting into a weather season where people will be spending more time indoors,” he added. ”Those are things I get concerned about as we get into October and November and December.”

Fauci said he did not see the worst-case scenario as inevitable, saying “it is within our hands to prevent that.”

“We know we could get into serious trouble if we don't do certain things," he said. "And I hope that that understanding is not going to frighten people, but will jolt them into realizing that it is within our hands to prevent that.”