This week a major COVID-19 record was broken in the United States, with the highest 7-day average of the entire pandemic. With the coldest months of the year ahead of us, experts are predicting that this latest surge of infections is about to get much worse. On Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert, spoke at the University of Melbourne's virtual Conversations on COVID-19: A Global View with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Professor Sharon Lewin, expressing his concern about where we currently stand in terms of infections, and what he had to say was sobering to say the least. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Fauci Says the Numbers Speak for Themselves
"Australia has done well, New Zealand has done well, some of the Asian countries have done well, if you look," he said. "I mean, I would like to say the same for the United States, but the numbers speak for themselves."
He pointed out that there have currently been almost 9 million documented infections in the United States alone, with a death toll surpassing 225,000, "and we are essentially still going on a day-by-day basis, getting worse and worse."
He added that his worst fears and predictions are coming true.
"At a Senate hearing a few months ago, upon questioning by United States senators, I said, 'Although it pains me to say this, if we do not do something different than what we're doing right now, we could reach a hundred thousand cases a day.' And two days ago, we were up to 83,000 cases in a single day," he pointed out.
"That is very troubling. That's really quite—we've got to do better than that."
Why is the U.S. Struggling So Badly?
Why is the United States struggling more than other countries? Dr. Fauci pointed out that it likely has to do with Federalism, and that despite the recommended guidelines he put together with fellow White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Deborah Birx—which "were a gateway, a phase one phase two, to tell you how you can gradually safely and prudently open up the country" — each state took a different approach, which can explain the surges in some parts of the country but not others.
"That would have been nice if all the States did that the same way, it was like a free for all," he admitted. "There were some States that didn't even pay attention. Some states jumped over one benchmark to the other and some states tried to do it well. But yet when you looked at the TV screen, you'd see people crowded at bars with no masks, just essentially causing super spreading—even though we had the guidelines of universal wearing of mask, keeping distance, avoiding crowded in congregated settings, doing things outdoors more than indoors and washing your hands. If everybody had done that uniformly, I don't think we would be in the position we're in right now."
As for yourself these next few months, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.