COVID-19 Cases 'Unacceptably High' Before Labor Day Weekend, Fauci Says

Carolyn Crist

September 03, 2020

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The US is reporting about 40,000 new coronavirus cases a day, which is too high as Americans head into the Labor Day weekend, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Wednesday.

"That's an unacceptably high baseline," he said during an interview with MSNBC. "We've got to get it down."

The country needs to bring the daily case numbers below 10,000 to head into the fall, but people's behaviors during the holiday weekend could increase them again, he added. Coronavirus cases surged again in May and July after summer holiday weekends.

"We know from prior experience as you get into the holiday weekend — the Fourth of July, Memorial Day — there's a tendency of people to be careless somewhat with regard to the public health measures," Fauci said.

People could gather with friends and family and become lax about social distancing and wearing face masks, for instance, and further spread the virus. Labor Day weekend activities could determine how the coronavirus spreads in the US in the colder months, he said.

"I want to use this opportunity to almost have a plea to the people in this country to realize that we really still need to get our arms around this and to suppress these types of surges we've seen," he said.

Americans should still have an "enjoyable" weekend, he said, but reminded people to avoid crowds, hold events outdoors, remain 6 feet away from others and wear masks.

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