• The newest coronavirus updates Dr. Anthony Fauci has been sharing with the media aren’t encouraging.
  • Don’t expect anything close to resembling normal life until early next year, for starters, meaning we have still have many months to go in terms of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Likewise, Dr. Fauci is especially worried about four states right now that are seeing concerning increases in positive coronavirus cases.

The latest coronavirus updates from one of the most trusted and highest-profile voices amid the ongoing pandemic haven’t been particularly encouraging, to put it mildly.

White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has been out front since the beginning of the outbreak in the US. He’s given as many interviews as he can which include coronavirus tips for protecting one’s self against the virus, updates about what we’re learning as new insights are revealed over time — and all of that, while also leading an agency at the forefront of the work toward a vaccine. Ask Fauci, who also serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, when he thinks we can finally get our lives back to normal, for example, and you might not like his answer. “The timetable you suggested of getting into 2021, well into the year,” Fauci told CBS News, “then I can think with a successful vaccine — if we could vaccinate the overwhelming majority of the population — we could start talking about real normality again. But it is going to be a gradual process.” Depressed yet? Meantime, Fauci also has some bad news for four US states.

The way the doctor sees it, increasing coronavirus case numbers are especially worrisome right now in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana. Specifically, he’s looking at the positive rate (the percentage of positive tests versus overall coronavirus tests performed) and the rate at which that metric is rising in those four states. He thinks that it’s climbing at a fast-enough clip that, if not checked now, a worsening outbreak could unfold there.

“That’s a surefire sign that you’ve got to be really careful,” Fauci said during an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America. “And if you are trying to open, please do it in a way that’s in accordance with the guidelines. The guidelines that we carefully put together some time ago.”

As a reminder of where things stand nationally, the latest data from Johns Hopkins University shows that more than 4.4 million coronavirus cases have been identified in the US since the start of the pandemic. Likewise, there have been more than 150,000 reported deaths. Drilling down into the data from the four states Fauci said are specifically concerning, meanwhile, three of them (Indiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky) are showing 10% increases in coronavirus cases compared to where they were a week ago based on a seven-day average, per CNBC.

So while some states are reporting ominous trends while others are improving, does Fauci think we need some kind of coordinated national strategy to proceed through this?

“If you look at the guidelines the way we put them out some time ago,” Fauci continued during his GMA appearance, “that really is the national strategy. (It’s) ‘here’s what you need to do. if you’re at this level, you wait before you graduate to the next phase … We would hope that (states) all now rethink what happens when you don’t adhere to that. We’ve got to get back to a very prudent advance from one stage to another.”

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.