WASHINGTON – New coronavirus infections could increase to 100,000 a day if the nation doesn’t get the ongoing surge under control, Dr. Anthony Fauci told Congress Tuesday.
“We’ve really got to do something about that and we need to deal with it quickly,” he testified. “It could get very bad.”
Fauci, the top infectious disease expert at the National Institutes of Health, said the surge has been caused both by some areas reopening too quickly and by people not following guidelines.
“We’ve got to get that message out that we are all in this together,” Fauci told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “And if we are going to contain this, we’ve got to contain it together.”
Testifying weeks after he’d previously warned of needless “suffering and death” if appropriate steps weren’t taken, Fauci, said he’s “quite concerned” about what’s happening in many states. New cases have been increasing by about 40,000 a day, Fauci said.
Asked what’s going wrong, he said several states may have moved “too quickly” and skipped over some of the checkpoints laid out for a safe reopening.
But even in areas where state and local officials followed the federal guidelines, individuals acted as if all restrictions had been lifted.
“What we saw were a lot of people who maybe felt that because they think they are invulnerable, and we know many young people are not because they’re getting serious disease, that therefore they’re getting infected has nothing at all to do with anyone else, when in fact it does,” Fauci said.