Though President Donald Trump has attempted to downplay the dangers of coronavirus as the reopened country sees a surge in new cases, the country’s top infectious disease expert sees a much more worrying situation.
Speaking on a livestream with the National Institutes of Health director Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci advanced a view of the pandemic that stands in stark contrast to Trump’s, saying that the U.S. is now struggling to control outbreaks because it reopened too quickly without sufficiently lowering the number of cases.
“The current state is really not good,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“We had been in a situation where we were averaging about 20,000 new cases, a day. And then a series of circumstances associated with various states and cities trying to open up in the sense of getting back to some form of normality has led to a situation where we now have record-breaking cases. Two days ago it was at 57,500. So within a period of a week and a half. We’ve almost doubled the number of cases.”
Ten states hit a record high number of coronavirus cases over the Fourth of July weekend, and Fauci called the increasing number of infections “a serious situation that we have to address immediately.” He specifically spoke to young people who believe they’re invulnerable to serious illness, saying that their lack of safety precautions prolongs the pandemic.
“By getting infected they are propagating the outbreak, because inadvertently or innocently, they could infect someone, who’d infect someone, and then all of a sudden someone’s grandmother or grandfather, or aunt who’s getting chemotherapy for breast cancer gets infected,” he said.
“So although you think you’re isolated in a vacuum you’re not, you’re part of the propagation of the pandemic so it’s your responsibility to yourself, as well as to society, to avoid infection.”