U.S. 'Not in a Good Place' With Daily COVID-19 Case Counts, Fauci Says

WebMD News Staff

September 29, 2020

Editor's note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape's Coronavirus Resource Center.

Anthony Fauci, MD, says the United States is "not in a good place" entering the fall and winter because daily coronavirus case counts are regularly topping 40,000.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said the United States should have a baseline of around 10,000 new cases per day to get through the time before a vaccine becomes available.

"We're not in a good place," Fauci said Monday in an interview on Good Morning America. "You don't want to be in a position like that as the weather starts getting cold. So we really need to intensify the public health measures that we talk about all the time."

Fauci said some states have tamped down the coronavirus through widespread testing and social distancing, but "there are states that are starting to show an uptick in cases and even some increases in hospitalization in some states. And, I hope not, but we very well might start seeing increases in deaths."

The United States recently recorded its 200,000 coronavirus-related death – about 20% of all the pandemic deaths in the world.

Case counts are rising in the West and Midwest in states with low population density such as North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Utah.

Wisconsin has averaged more than 2,100 new cases daily for the past 7 days, the state department of health services reported. Gov. Tony Evers declared a public health emergency a week ago, saying a spike in cases has been caused by students returning to campuses.

Meanwhile, case counts in some Sun Belt states are dropping, but state and local officials are responding by loosening restrictions.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, for example, recently allowed restaurants and bars to open up, though the state is still reporting hundreds of cases per day

"That is very concerning to me," Fauci told GMA. "That is something we really need to be careful about because when you're dealing with community spread and you have the kind of congregate setting where people get together, particularly without masks, you're really asking for trouble."

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