Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease official, warned Sunday that new local lockdown orders are likely if the current spike in coronavirus cases can’t be contained by public health measures like mask-wearing, hand-washing and social distancing.
Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper if he expects to see new stay-at-home orders in certain states and cities, Fauci said, “I think that likely will happen…if we don’t turn around this surge,” though he noted that he doesn’t think a new national lockdown is likely.
Some states have already implemented new mask mandates, including Utah, Iowa and North Dakota, and officials in Illinois, Maryland and Washington are considering more shutdowns, the Washington Post reported last week.
Dr. Michael Osterholm, one of President-elect Biden’s coronavirus advisors, told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday that coronavirus numbers will continue to “grow substantially” without strict adherence to public health measures.
With some cities already running out of ICU beds, Osterholm warned that U.S. healthcare systems could begin “literally breaking” because they are so overwhelmed.
Record hospitalizations were reported last week in 25 U.S. states, CNN reported.
“Obviously, everyone is sensitive to what we call ‘Covid fatigue,’” Fauci said Sunday. “But we’ve got to hang in there a bit longer, particularly as we get into the holiday season and the colder weather.” Pfizer last week announced that early data from trials suggests its vaccine candidate is 90% effective in preventing infection, but it will be months before that vaccine or any other is widely available to the public.
177,224. That’s how many new coronavirus cases the U.S. recorded on Friday alone, according to data from Johns Hopkins.
Fauci also noted that “it would be better” if the White House coronavirus task force could begin working with President-elect Biden’s transition team. Much of the normal transition process in Washington has been delayed or disrupted because of the Trump administration’s refusal to acknowledge the results of the presidential election.
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