Fauci says he 'strongly suspects' that COVID-19 deaths will go down in the winter

Top infectious diseases expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci to appear on Fox Business Friday for rare interview on the network Hawaii reports its first omicron case Glenn Greenwald discusses criticism of Fauci overseeing 'medically unjustifiable' experiments on dogs MORE said that he “strongly suspects” COVID-19 deaths will go down in the winter.

During an interview with Greta Van Susteren to be aired on Sunday, Fauci was asked if he expected another surge of coronavirus cases due to the delta variant or other variants such as mu this winter.

He responded that it would depend on how well the United States is able to vaccinate the millions of Americans who have not yet gotten a coronavirus shot.

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Fortunately, right now, over the last few weeks, we've seen a turnaround in the slope in going down in both cases and hospitalizations. Deaths are still up, but it's really flattening, so it's a lagging indicator,” Fauci told Van Susteren.

“I strongly suspect that you're going to start seeing the deaths go down similar to the hospitalizations; how quickly they go down and how thoroughly they go down is going to depend a lot on a number of circumstances, which will be influenced by things like the colder weather, people doing things indoors, how well they go by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines of, when you have a lot of infection in the community, even though you're vaccinated, when you are not home but outside congregate settings in the public, wearing masks, I think would be very prudent,” he added.

Experts are divided about whether this most recent COVID-19 surge of cases will be the last one. 

Data from the CDC indicates that nationwide COVID-19 cases are generally starting to trend downward, but only about 56 percent of the country’s total population has been fully vaccinated. Colder weather, with more people being situated inside, could make it difficult to predict how well COVID-19 cases get tamped down later in the fall and upcoming winter given that that environment has allowed the virus to spread previously.

Leana Wen, public health professor at George Washington University and an emergency physician, told The Hill that some states are still grappling with the latest delta wave.

“I'm very concerned about people becoming complacent because they think that the delta wave is passing us,” Wen said. “We have seen this happen before, where there is a rise in the number of cases, then a decline, and then people let down their guard. And as a result, we plateau at a very high level of cases. That's unacceptable.”