• With the surge in the number of coronavirus cases the US is seeing at the moment, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has been lamenting in recent interviews that the coronavirus pandemic is dangerously close to being out of control.
  • Dr. Fauci’s latest warning is that we’re seeing such an explosion in new coronavirus cases around the country, January is likely to be an even worse month than December.
  • This warning comes the same week that the first cases of the UK coronavirus variant have been found in the US.

One day after the first of the more transmissible COVID variant from the UK was identified in the US, here’s where things stand right now in terms of the number of coronavirus cases and deaths stateside. According to the latest information we have from Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 19.5 million coronavirus cases identified in the US since the pandemic began, along with more than 339,000 deaths.

It’s for that reason that White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has been warning people that not only are we at the worst point of the coronavirus pandemic thus far — things are likely about to get even worse come January. That’s a result of the fact that the record-setting number of COVID cases we’re seeing now is going to turn into an explosion in hospitalizations, as well as COVID-related deaths. “We’re in such a surge that has just gotten out of control in many respects,” Dr. Fauci said earlier this week, during an interview with CNN’s Jim Sciutto. “If you look at the history … we had a surge in the late winter, early spring, another surge in the early summer. We’re, right now, in a surge whose incline, whose inflection, is very sharp.”

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What that looks like, in reality, can be seen in the fact that the US is currently recording at least 188,167 new coronavirus cases per day, as well as more than 2,200 COVID-related deaths, based on a seven-day average of Johns Hopkins data calculated by CNBC.

Part of the problem seems to lie in the fact that Americans increasingly aren’t listening to the warnings of health experts like him. Take the guidance we all heard ahead of Thanksgiving and Christmas, that we should avoid gatherings outside our home, which would seem to preclude traveling to be with other family members for the holidays. Nevertheless, so many people flouted that warning — according to the Transportation Security Administration, for example, the month of December has set two separate travel records for all of 2020.

On December 23, the agency said a then-record high of almost 1.2 million people passed through the nation’s airports. Less than a week later, on December 27, that record was broken again, with almost 1.3 million people doing the same.

For the umpteenth time, here are Dr. Fauci’s recommendations, as he explained it to CNN, about how to not only keep yourself safe but avoid contributing to the spread of coronavirus cases in the US: “Try to keep (yourself) restricted to … immediate family and the immediate household. Once you get to large numbers of people at a dinner inside, poor air ventilation and circulation, that’s when you get in trouble. That’s what we’re concerned about — that in addition to the surge, we’re going to have an increase superimposed upon that surge which could make January even worse than December.”

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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.