- Anthony Fauci says everyone needs to work together to get the coronavirus outbreak in the US under control.
- During the White House coronavirus task force’s press conference, Fauci said the US has a “serious problem” with the outbreak in certain areas.
- He said it’s likely that as cases surge, parts of the country that are not seeing the rise in cases could soon see more infections.
- For the third day in a row, the US recorded the highest number of single-day new coronavirus cases with more than 40,000 known infections on Friday.
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Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert, warned that the US has a “serious problem” with coronavirus outbreaks. He spoke Friday during the White House coronavirus task force’s first press conference in two months.
“So what goes on in one area of the country ultimately could have an effect on other areas,” Fauci said, according to the BBC.
According to CBS News, Fauci said there’s a “paradigm shift” in the pandemic now that younger people are causing the surge in new cases.
“It’s a paradigm shift because we’re dealing with young people, people who are going to be asymptomatic, and people who are getting infected in a community setting, not an outbreak setting where you know who to identify, isolate and contact trace,” Fauci said, according to CBS.
The US hit an all-time record for daily coronavirus cases for the third day in a row on Friday with more than 40,000 new cases. Ten states and cities have rolled back some of their reopening plans in light of the surge, including in Texas and Florida, two states that are now leading in the rise of infections.
“This is a continuation of the first wave,” Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, told Business Insider. “Some places that might have been relatively spared early on in the winter and the spring are now facing cases higher than they had before.”
Fauci has consistently said that the US needs an efficient testing and contact tracing plan in order to keep the outbreak under control. He recently warned if the surge in cases doesn’t go down, the US could see another “full-blown outbreak” as part of the first wave of the virus, ultimately undoing the progress that’s been made over the past two months.
However, while Fauci spoke of the need to further work to get the virus under control, during the same meeting Vice President Mike Pence falsely claimed that the US had “flattened the curve,” and attributed the rise of cases to increased testing.
“We want the American people to understand that it’s almost inarguable that more testing is generating more cases,” Pence said.
During the task force meeting, Fauci said that the current increase of cases is the result of many factors including some regions opening up a little too early, some places opening up at the right time but then not following necessary steps, and individuals not following social distancing guidelines, the BBC reported.
“What I meant by what is not working — and this is not anybody’s fault, or any institution’s fault — is that what we’re dealing with right now is community spread in the context of a substantial proportion of the people that are getting infected do not know they’re infected, they’re not symptomatic, they’re asymptomatic individuals,” Fauci said, according to CBS. “The classic paradigm of identification, isolation and contact tracing, to actually contain that, is very difficult to make that work under those circumstances.”
Fauci warned that young people who get infected are likely to infect someone else, especially if they’re not showing any symptoms, and that makes it likely that someone vulnerable could be infected in that chain of transmission. He urged everyone to take this virus seriously.
“The only way we’re going to end it is by ending it together,” Fauci said, according to CBS.