The chief disease investigator, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told the United States Senate that he “would not be surprised” if new cases of the virus in the country reached 100,000 per day.
“We clearly are not in control at the moment,” he testified, noting that there are not enough Americans with masks or social distancing.
During the hearing, he said that about half of all new cases come from four states.
Previously, the New York governor said that nearly half of Americans must be quarantined if they visit the state.
On Tuesday, cases increased by more than 40,000 in one day for the fourth time in the past five days.
The increase, which is occurring particularly in the southern and western states, has forced at least 16 states to pause or reverse their reopening plans, according to CNN. Florida, Arizona, Texas and California are the four states that Dr. Fauci refers to as the most affected currently.
For some, the new measures come more than a month after their economies began to reopen.
Also Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo expanded the number of Americans who must be quarantined for 14 days if they visit the state. There are now 16 states on the list.
The newly added states are California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, and Tennessee.
They join Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.
Taken together, the order affects 48% of all U.S. residents, according to an analysis by USA Today.
What did Dr. Fauci say?
Testifying before a Senate committee about the effort to reopen schools and businesses, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases criticized states for “omitting” the benchmarks necessary for the reopening, saying cases will increase as Outcome.
“I can’t make an accurate prediction, but it’s going to be very disturbing, I guarantee it,” he told Senator Elizabeth Warren.
“Because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, although in other parts of the country they are fine, they are vulnerable.”
“We cannot focus only on those areas that are having a sudden increase. It puts the whole country at risk,” he added.
Dr. Fauci also called on the US government to produce facial masks to distribute free of charge to all Americans, and condemned the “all-or-nothing phenomenon” of some people who have completely ignored the distancing measures Social.
Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who also testified Tuesday, told lawmakers that 12 states have seen an increase in the number of hospital admissions, and Arizona has seen an increase in the mortality rate.
“It is critical that we all take personal responsibility for delaying the transmission of Covid-19 and adopting the universal use of face covers,” said Dr. Redfield.
“The disease affects us all and it will take all the work together to stop it.”
Before the hearing began, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, who heads the committee, called on President Donald Trump to wear a face mask, an act he has not yet done at a public event.
“Unfortunately, this simple life-saving practice has become part of the political debate,” said Trump’s ally.
“If you are for Trump, you don’t wear a mask, if you are against Trump, yes,” he continued, and continued “suggesting that the President occasionally wear a mask.”
“The president has many admirers who would follow his example,” he said.
‘We have too much virus’
On Monday, Dr. Anne Schuchat, CDC’s deputy chief director, warned that the United States is not responding like other countries that have proven successful in containing the coronavirus, and have allowed the virus to spread much more widely and rapidly. .
“We are not in the situation in New Zealand, Singapore or Korea, where a new case is quickly identified and all contacts are tracked and people who are sick are isolated and exposed people are quarantined and can keep things under control. control, “Dr. Schuchat said in an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association.
“We have too many viruses across the country for that right now, so it is very discouraging.”
New Zealand declared the country infection-free on June 8, and has since had to contain several cases from international travelers. South Korea has aggressively employed contact trackers, and since April 1 has recorded fewer than 100 cases per day. The Singapore outbreak peaked in mid-April, when 1,400 new cases were reported in one day.
The United States has registered 2,682,897 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University, and has a total of 129,544 deaths.
“This is really the beginning,” added Dr. Schuchat.
“I think there were a lot of illusions across the country saying ‘hey, it’s summer.’ Everything will be fine. We’ve gotten over this and we’re not even starting to get over it. There are a lot of worrying factors over the past week or so.”
‘Herd immunity unlikely’
Dr. Fauci warned on Monday that the United States is “unlikely” to develop collective immunity to the coronavirus even once a vaccine is available, which he predicted might be available in early 2021.
He said this was due to the combination of a vaccine that is potentially only partially effective, and the large number of Americans who could refuse to receive it.
“There is a general anti-science, anti-authority and anti-vaccine sentiment among some people in this country: an alarmingly large percentage of people, in relative terms,” he said, calling for more education to promote confidence in vaccines.
Dr. Fauci added that he would gladly “settle” for a vaccine that is only 70-75% effective at first.
According to the CDC website, herd immunity is achieved when “a sufficient proportion of a population is immune to an infectious disease (through vaccination and / or previous disease) to make its spread unlikely.”