• The latest coronavirus update from White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci is a reiteration of a theme he’s been sharing ad infinitum for weeks now: The number of coronavirus cases in the US each day is still way too high as we head into the colder and winter months.
  • One reason that’s such a problem is that it means, among other things, people will be forced to spend more time indoors — which is where the COVID-19 virus spreads more readily, compared to outdoors.
  • The latest data from Johns Hopkins University shows that there have been more than 205,000 deaths from coronavirus in the US thus far.

Okay, Dr. Fauci, now you’re really starting to scare me.

Normally, the winter months are many peoples’ favorite time of the year. Family gatherings, the Christmas holiday season, time off from work — there are countless reasons people look forward to the final weeks of the year. And you can probably already see where I’m going. The latest coronavirus update from White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been something of a face of the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic for pretty much the entirety of the crisis, sounds as dire as any the good doctor has shared up to this point.

During an interview with AIDS activist Peter Staley, the same week that Johns Hopkins data shows US deaths from the coronavirus has now surpassed 205,000, Fauci pleaded with anyone in the audience and anyone reading his words after the fact to adjust their behavior in light of the following: The number of daily coronavirus cases in the US is still way too high as we head into fall and winter, Fauci lamented.


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“That heightens my anxiety as we get into the fall and winter months, when, in many cases, people are going to be forced to spend more time indoors,” Fauci said. “And that’s the reason why I keep pleading with the American public to try to get our baseline level of infections down below the unacceptably high level they’re at now, which is today and yesterday was up to 44,000 cases a day, because that indicates that there’s community spread.

“And when this community spread (is) out there and you spend some time indoors with people who are not going to be tested every day and know whether they’re infected or not, then the risk increases.”

To get some additional context around those remarks from Fauci, the website covidexitstrategy.org tracks the spread of coronavirus in each state in the US. According to the site, here’s a visual representation of Fauci’s concern, showing that the US is nowhere near getting a handle on the pandemic:

Coronavirus mapImage source: covidexitstrategy.org

The problem is that the US never really beat the virus back enough, experts like Fauci say. Now, not only are we heading into a dangerous period for the virus (when the weather, for example, will force people to spend more time indoors than they are now, for example), but there’s much less political appetite to implement aggressive closures and other shutdowns of the draconian sort that we saw earlier this year in the initial days of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve all been through this,” Brown University School of Public health dean Ashish Jha recently told Vox. “Every part of the country. The South, the West, the Midwest, the Northeast. There’s no denialism anymore that will work, because there’s been this long denial while it’s been there but not here.

“I, at this point, feel like I clearly no longer understand why our country can’t learn its lessons and why we keep repeating the same mistakes.”

Nevertheless, here we are. Florida, for example, on Tuesday reported its biggest increase in coronavirus cases in more than a week, following the permission that bars and restaurants now have to be able to serve at 100% capacity again in the Sunshine State.

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.