Health Care

Fauci on latest surge: ‘No matter how you look at it, it’s not good news’

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Top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said Monday that “no matter how you look at” the latest surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S., “it’s not good news.”

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Yahoo Finance during an interview said the U.S. is “at the highest baseline we’ve ever been” for coronavirus cases, calling the situation “quite precarious.”

The U.S. reported record single-day increases in new COVID-19 cases on Friday and Saturday, with more than 80,000 new cases identified each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The previous record, which was set in July, was 74,818 cases in a day.

“Now, as we’re getting into the cold weather, we came back up again to the worst that we’ve ever had, which was over 80,000 per day,” Fauci said.

When asked if the rise represents a third wave of the virus or the continuation of the first wave, Fauci said, “I look at it more as an elongated and an exacerbation of the original first wave.”

“We’ve never really had waves, in the sense of up and then down to a good baseline,” he said. 

“So you know, it’s kind of semantics,” he added. “You want to call the third wave or an extended first wave. No matter how you look at it, it’s not good news.”

But Fauci expressed optimism about the ongoing coronavirus vaccine trials, saying results should be expected at the end of November or beginning of December.

”Luckily, despite the fact that we are dealing with a very very challenging period right now, even more so as we enter the cooler months of the fall and the colder months of the winter, that vaccines are proceeding at a very good pace,” Fauci said on Monday.

The White House coronavirus task force member emphasized the vaccine will “help a lot” but won’t be “solving the problem by itself” without public health guidance such as wearing masks and social distancing. 

“We can do this,” he said. “I’m absolutely convinced that as a nation, if we pull together, and do some fundamental common-denominator public health measures, that we can get through this with a lot of help in the future from vaccines and adequate therapies.”

Fauci previously cautioned in September that the country needed to prepare to “hunker down and get through this fall and winter” as flu season approaches

The U.S. has topped the world in the number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities, recording more than 8.6 million cases and 225,676 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Tags Anthony Fauci Coronavirus coronavirus vaccine COVID-19 Pandemic single-day increase Yahoo

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