- The number of new coronavirus cases could rise dramatically to 100,000 COVID-19 confirmations per day, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned.
- As US states have reopened their economies, many of them saw massive surges in daily coronavirus case counts, setting records that dwarf the previous highs from April.
- Fauci added that people need to avoid crowded areas including bars, and keep wearing face masks to reduce the risk of transmission. Some states are already considering reimposing certain restrictions ahead of the Independence Day weekend.
America’s coronavirus crisis is only getting worse now that states have reopened. It’s so bad that some states are already being forced to consider pausing reopening plans or reintroducing restrictions. Authorities across the US have reported more than 40,000 cases per day for five days straight, as of Wednesday morning. The previous high was around 38,000 cases registered on April 10th, during what was believed to be the peak of wave 1. Several states including Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California have seen massive increases in cases after reopening, shattering all the previous local records. Florida is of particular concern, as the state could become the next epicenter of the US COVID-19 epidemic.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has been very vocal about the recent events. He addressed several coronavirus-related topics in recent days, whether in interviews or congressional hearings. He explained the progress of vaccines and warned that science-deniers and anti-vaxxers might compromise efforts to contain the disease as well as future immunization campaigns. He also described a new plan to dramatically increase testing with a new method meant to catch the most dangerous spreaders, the asymptomatic carriers. More recently, the expert warned that America could soon see as many as 100,000 new infections per day if containment measures aren’t implemented. Others warn that number may have already been reached, it’s just that not everybody is getting tested.
“We are now having 40,000 cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around,” Fauci told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing.
Social distancing and face masks are meant to help people “enjoy themselves within the safe guidelines,” the Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases said. “We should not look at the public health endeavors as being an obstruction to opening up. We should look at it as a vehicle to opening up.”
Fauci stressed on the importance of people avoiding crowded areas, singling out bars as in particular as a type of business that should be avoided entirely.
“Bars: really not good, really not good. Congregation at a bar, inside, is bad news. We really have got to stop that,” Fauci said, adding that without taking certain measures, the US will continue to be in trouble.
Dr. Mark McClellan, a former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, told CNN that the actual number of new cases may be higher than reported, and the number of new cases may be at 100,000 per day already. “Remember, a lot of cases are going undetected because not everybody can get testing,” he said. “It just really emphasizes the importance of taking further steps, on wearing masks, on pausing reopening, on taking steps ahead of July 4th to avoid big crowds.”
Recently, CDC Director Robert Redfield said that the actual COVID-19 case count in the US might be 10 times higher than what’s been confirmed via testing. If that’s accurate, every 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases could correspond to a 100,000 new infections.
Not all state officials are ready to implement stricter measures. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is considering tightening restrictions during the Independence Day weekend. The measures could cover bars and beaches, and he is expected to announce new restrictions sometime on Wednesday. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is at the opposite side of the spectrum, having told reporters that the state isn’t going back to stricter measures despite the horrific spread Florida is experiencing right now.