As coronavirus deaths approach 200,000 in the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, joined CNN's Jim Acosta on The Situation Room to discuss how you can help control the outbreaks that might be sparked over the long weekend. Read on to hear his essential advice, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Says There Are a Number of States Worrying Him
President Trump has said we've "turned a corner" on the severity of coronavirus. When asked if that's true, Fauci disagreed. "I'm not sure what he means," said Fauci. "There are certain states that have actually done well in the sense of that the case numbers are coming down, all concern right now is that there are a number of states, particularly, for example, the Dakotas, Montana, Michigan, Minnesota, and others who are starting to have an uptick in what we call percent positive of testing, which generally is a predictor that there's going to be a problem."
Dr. Fauci Said the Death Toll So Far is "Disturbing"
There are more than 200,00 deaths. "It's obviously disturbing Jim, particularly as I've said to you and others on this show, multiple times, we've got to get a baseline back down to a much lower level—we're hovering at around 40,000 cases a day," said Fauci. "You know, we were hanging around 20,000 for several weeks in a row. Then we had the surge in the Southern States, Florida, Texas, California, Arizona. And we went right up to about 70,000. We're down now to 40. We've got to get it much lower than that because if you go to a low baseline and then you get cases that occur, you can actually handle them—get good identification, isolation, and contact tracing. But when you have an intensity of community spread, it makes it that much more difficult. And that's the reason why I keep saying over and over again, we've gotta be very careful"—particularly over Labor Day Weekend.
Dr. Fauci Also Called the Rise in New Cases "Disturbing"
"These are indeed new cases. And the reason we know they're new cases, because when you have the increase in cases, it's invariably followed by an increase in hospitalization and ultimately by an increase in deaths, that's the real bottom line," he said. "The critical issue is the percent positives of the tests that you do. And we're starting to see an uptick in that and certain areas that's disturbing. And that's why we call out to the governors and the leaders of those states to please pay attention to that, because that can be a predictor of surges that we really are trying to avoid."
Dr. Fauci Said 410,000 COVID Deaths is Indeed Possible By January
A forecast from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington predicted 410,000 deaths by January. "They predicted by January because that's taking into factor that as we get into the winter, the fall and the winter, there's going to be a lot more indoor activity as opposed to outdoor activity," Fauci said. "And if you combine in directivity with the lack of uniform utilization of masks, then you could start really getting into trouble. That's the reason why we say right now, outdoor is always better than indoor, but when you get into the cold of the late fall in the early winter, sometimes it's impossible to do activities outdoors. And if you're going to do it indoors, particularly if there's crowds, you really need to wear a mask….In this case that we are talking about 410,000 deaths, which I, I so surely hope we don't even approach that….Of course it's possible."
Dr. Fauci Said There Are Ways You Can Keep Yourself—and America—Safe
"Hopefully people, particularly the younger people, will pay attention to things like wearing a mask, avoiding close contact, avoiding crowds and doing whatever you can possibly do outdoors as opposed to indoor, and if we do that, we should get through the weekend. Okay. And that is absolutely critical." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.