For months, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has been warning the American people that unless they took preventative measures against COVID-19, that we would be faced with a public health crisis in the fall and winter months. On Thursday, Dr. Fauci joined Yahoo News Editor in Chief Daniel Klaidman and Chief Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff and warned that we are headed into the coldest months of the year with an extremely high baseline and indicators that a deadly surge is weeks away. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Why Did Dr. Fauci Say We're Not in a Good Place?
"We're not in a good place," Fauci admitted. "We talk about a second wave. We have never really gotten out of the first wave."
He continued to explain that the current baseline is extremely high—about five times as high as he hoped it would be. "If you look at the baseline number of daily infections that we have had over the last several weeks has been around 40,000 per day. It's now gone up to about 50,000 per day. So right away, we have a very unfortunate baseline from which we need to deal," he continued. "And then as I would have hoped, as I was saying over the previous weeks to months, as you enter the cooler months of the fall and the colder months of the winter, you would like to start that with a very low baseline, well below 10,000 per day."
He added that the percent positivity rate is also very high, which indicates things are heading in a deadly direction. "If you look across the country, the number of States—more than 30—are now showing what we call an increase in test positivity, which is a pretty good predictor that you're going to get a surge of cases, which then ultimately will lead to more hospitalizations," he explained.
The combination of factors may prove devastating. "We're going into a precarious, seasonal situation with people spending more time indoors than outdoors, which is not good at all for a respiratory borne infection. And then you have this uptick in cases superimposed upon a high baseline," he said. "That's not where I would have wanted us to be."
Dr. Fauci Says We've Got to 'Double Down' on Safety Measures
He explained that "we've really got to double down," clarifying that it doesn't mean he is recommending a complete lockdown or shutting down of the economy. "Absolutely not. That's off the table. We're not talking about that," he said. "We're talking about intensifying some public health measures that are really simple and easy to understand and to do it uniformly as a country, instead of in a haphazard way."
He then presented "five approaches" to slowing the spread of the virus: "Uniform wearing of masks, keeping physical distance, at least six feet where possible, avoiding congregate settings and crowds, doing things outdoors much more preferentially than indoor and washing hands frequently," he revealed. So do that, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.