Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., said Monday that the country is in a “serious situation” that needs immediate attention as the coronavirus surges in certain parts of the country.
During a live interview streamed on Facebook, Fauci noted that the U.S. is “still knee-deep in the first wave” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would say this would not be considered a wave. It was a surge, or resurgence of infections superimposed upon a baseline … that really never got down to where we wanted to go,” Fauci told National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins.
“If you look at the graphs from Europe — Europe, the European Union as an entity, it went up, and then came down to baseline,” he added.
“We went up, never came down to baseline, and now we’re surging back up. So it’s a serious situation that we have to address immediately.”
States have been scrambling to pull back on plans to reopen businesses and let people gather in public after COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rose again.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) called for bars to close and restaurants to halt indoor dining in 19 counties across the state in response to the increase in cases.
Governors in Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, Nevada and some other states have also delayed plans to lift coronavirus-related restrictions.
Fauci expressed his concerns just days after he told the American Medical Association that the recent surge in cases highlighted a “very disturbing week” for the U.S.
“We’re setting records, practically every day, of new cases in the numbers that are reported,” Fauci said in a livestream with the AMA. “That clearly is not the right direction.”
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