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Dr. Fauci Says "It Couldn't Get Much Worse"—But It Might

“That's the reason why we really are pleading with the American public to really take [this] seriously.”
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On a day when coronavirus hospitalizations hit an all-time high—61,964 on Tuesday—and cases did too—passing 139,000—Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor, did a TV blitz to sound the alarm. Yes, Pfizer's vaccine being 90% effective in trials meant there was light at the end of the tunnel. No, that doesn't mean the pandemic is over yet. He spoke with Jake Tapper on CNN. Read on to hear more of his warning, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Says "It Couldn't Get Much Worse"—But It Might Get Much Worse

"Unless we really double down and do the public health measures that we've been talking about for so long, if you look at the numbers and the number of cases that we're seeing each day, over a hundred thousand and the deaths ranging from 800 to over a thousand, you can do the math yourself. It couldn't get much worse," said Fauci. "And that's the reason why we really are pleading with the American public to really take [this] seriously. We're not talking about shutting down. There's always that misunderstanding. When we talk about public health measures, we're not talking about shutting down, we're talking about the four or five things I talk about all the time: wearing masks, universally, keeping a distance, avoiding congregate settings crowds, particularly indoors, doing things much more outdoor than indoor and washing hands."

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Dr. Fauci Warns That the Vaccine Isn't Here Yet

Dr. Fauci cheered the news of the vaccine but said it "should not get people to say that we don't need to continue to do the public health measures because I look at the vaccine—help is coming and it's coming soon. We likely will be able to start dispensing vaccines in December and then progressively over the next few months. But in that interim, we could get into a lot of difficulty if we don't adhere to the public health measures, right? When we get both of those two things together of vaccine and public health measures, that would really be a game changer. But for the time being, we've got to adhere to the public health measures. And I hope that the fact that people realize that help is on the way in the form of a vaccine and soon that that would get them to be even more motivated to do the public health measures. Because when you know, help is on the way, don't give up—there's a real thing called COVID-19 fatigue. That's understandable. We understand how difficult that is, but hang in there a bit longer, do the thing need to do, and we'll be okay."

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How to Avoid Death During the Pandemic

As for yourself, seriously consider the risk to yourself and others before going out, and wear your face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties and family gatherings), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.