Leading disease researcher Dr. Anthony Fauci told the US Senate that he would not be “surprised” if the number of new cases of virus infection in the country reached 100,000 per day.
“Obviously, we are not in control now,” he said, warning that not enough Americans wear masks or social distances.
During the hearing, he said that about half of all new cases come from four states.
Earlier, the New York governor said that almost half of all Americans should be quarantined on their own if they visit the state.
On Tuesday, the number of cases increased by more than 40,000 in one day for the fourth time in five days.
According to CNN, this surge, which is especially evident in the southern and western states, has forced at least 16 states to suspend or reverse their opening plans. Florida, Arizona, Texas, and California are the four states that Dr. Fauci refers to as the most affected at this time.
For some, new measures are being taken a month after they first began to rediscover their economies.
Also on Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo increased the number of Americans who are required to quarantine independently for 14 days if they visit the state. Now there are 16 states on the list.
The newly added states are California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee.
They join Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.
Overall, the order affects 48% of all US residents, according to a USA Today analysis.
What did Dr. Fauci say?
Testifying the Senate committee of efforts to reopen schools and businesses, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases criticized the states for missing the benchmarks needed to reopen, and said things would increase as a result.
“I cannot make an accurate forecast, but it will be very disturbing, I guarantee you that,” he told Senator Elizabeth Warren.
“Because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, although in other parts of the country they feel good, they are vulnerable.”
“We cannot focus only on areas where there is a surge. This threatens the whole country, ”he added.
Dr. Fauci also called on the US government to create face masks that will be distributed free of charge to all Americans, and condemned the “all or nothing” phenomenon of some people who completely ignored measures of social distance.
Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which also testified on Tuesday, told lawmakers that hospitalization has been increasing in 12 states and mortality has been recorded in Arizona.
“It is very important that we are all personally responsible for slowing down the transmission of Covid-19 and for the universal use of face protective coatings,” said Dr. Redfield.
“The disease affects all of us, and teamwork will be required to stop it.”
Before the start of the hearing, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, the head of the committee, asked President Donald Trump to put on a mask – an action he had not yet performed at a public event.
“Unfortunately, this simple vital practice has become part of a political debate,” said Trump’s ally.
“If you are for Trump, you don’t wear a mask, if you are against Trump, you do it,” he continued, continuing “to suggest that the president sometimes wear a mask.”
“The president has many fans who will follow his example,” he said.
“We have too many viruses.”
On Monday, Dr. Anne Schuchat, chief deputy director of the CDC, warned that the United States did not react like other countries that have shown success in containing coronavirus and allowed the virus to spread much more widely and quickly.
“We are not in a situation in New Zealand, Singapore or Korea, where a new case is quickly detected, all contacts are tracked, patients are isolated, and exposed people are quarantined and can control the situation,” Dr. Shuchat said in an interview with the American Medical Association magazine .
“We now have too many viruses across the country, so this is very discouraging.”
New Zealand declared the country free of infections on June 8, and since then it has had to contain several cases that came from international travelers. South Korea is actively using contact tracking tools, and since April 1, less than 100 cases per day have been recorded. The outbreak in Singapore peaked in mid-April, when 1,400 new cases were reported in one day.
According to Johns Hopkins University, as of Tuesday, the United States has recorded 2,682,897 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and a total of 129,544 have died.
“This is really the beginning,” added Dr. Shukhat.
“I think that in the country there were many who wanted to think that“ hey, summer. ” Everything will be fine. We went through it, and we don’t even start to overcome it. There are many troubling factors. ” about last week or so. “
“Herd immunity is unlikely”
Dr. Fauci warned on Monday that the US is “unlikely” to develop herd immunity to coronavirus even after the vaccine is available, which, as he had previously predicted, could happen by early 2021.
He said that this was due to a combination of the vaccine, which is potentially only partially effective, and the large number of Americans who may refuse to receive it.
“Some people in this country have common anti-scientific, anti-authoritative, anti-vaccine feelings – an alarmingly large percentage of people, relatively speaking,” he said, calling for more education to increase confidence in vaccines.
Dr. Fauci added that he would happily “agree” to the vaccine, which at first would be only 70–75% effective.
According to the CDC website, herd immunity is achieved when “a sufficient portion of the population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and / or a previous disease) to make its spread from person to person unlikely.”