This Is Why Dr. Fauci Says the U.S. Is "Not in a Good Place" With COVID
The nation's top infectious disease expert doesn't like what he's seeing as winter approaches.
It's official: The late summer drop in national newly reported coronavirus cases has ended. Now, certain areas of the country such as the Midwest are seeing cases spike drastically for the first time—while others begin to lift safety restrictions that were put in place to keep the virus at bay. This has led Anthony Fauci, MD, to issue a stark warning about the COVID pandemic, saying the U.S. is currently "not in a good place."
During an interview on ABC's Good Morning America, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) explained that recent spikes across the nation have erased some of the recent successes we've seen, averaging an "unacceptably high" 44,300 new cases per day as of Sept. 27. "There are states that are starting to show an uptick in cases and even some increases in hospitalization in some states," he warned. "And, I hope not, but we very well might start seeing increases in deaths."
"We have got to get it down," Fauci said of the national average. "I would like to see it 10,000 or less."
The nation's top infectious disease expert also warned that the timing of the rise in cases was cause for concern. "You don't want to be in a position like that as the weather starts getting cold," he said. "So, we really need to intensify the public health measures that we talk about all the time."
This fresh set of warnings come as more than 20 states reported an increase in newly reported COVID case averages over last week. Officials in some states, such as Utah, have decided to roll back reopenings and issue new restrictions as a result. Others, such as Wisconsin, have issued new declarations of public health emergency and urged citizens to stay vigilant and follow health guidelines.
"Wisconsin is now experiencing unprecedented, near-exponential growth of the number of COVID-19 cases in our state," Gov. Tony Evers said in a video released on Twitter. "We need folks to start taking this seriously, and young people especially—please stay home as much as you are able, skip heading to the bars, and wear a mask whenever you go out. We need your help to stop the spread of this virus, and we all have to do this together."
However, Fauci pointed out some states that he felt were headed in the wrong direction. He called Florida governor Ron DeSantis' decision to reopen bars and restaurants across the Sunshine State "very concerning," and warned that the overlap of flu season could have disastrous consequences.
"When you're dealing with community spread, and you have the kind of congregate setting where people get together, particularly without masks, you're really asking for trouble," Fauci said. "Now's the time actually to double down a bit." And for more on areas that are struggling to control the pandemic, This Former COVID Epicenter Is Seeing Cases Rise Again, Officials Warn.