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Dr. Fauci Says How to Survive "Ominous Outbreak"

“We are in a very, very difficult situation. It's quite problematic.”
Infected patient in quarantine lying in bed in hospital

Pick a state and coronavirus cases there are rising. In most, hospitalizations and deaths are, too. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, spoke about just that during a streaming Q&A on Friday at the 2020 Ignatius Forum, hosted by the Washington National Cathedral.

"Data speaks for itself," says Fauci. "We are in a very, very difficult situation. It's quite problematic." Read on to hear his full warning, and see how you can stay safe, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

Dr. Fauci Wants to Give You a "Reality Check"—More People are Dying and You Can Save Them

"I have said that publicly many times, not to scare people, but to bring a reality check to where we are. If you look at it, we have 10 million infections in the United States, almost 250,000 deaths. We've had 60,000 hospitalizations. And now last count we had 143,000 infections in a single day." Just a day later, that number is now 153,000.

Dr. Fauci has warned this day could come. "When I testified before the Congress four months ago, I said, if we did not get control of this, that we could reach a hundred thousand infections a day and people thought I was being hyperbolic and now look what's happening. That's the bad news."

Rather than feel deflated, he wants you to feel empowered. "I think the encouraging news that people need to understand that public health measures—not a lock down of the country, but public health measures that are rather simple and easy to understand—the universal wearing of masks, the physical distancing, the avoiding congregate and crowded places, [staying] outdoors [is] better than indoors, washing hands. It sounds simple in the context of this ominous outbreak, but in fact, it can turn it around and that's what we really need to do."

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Dr. Fauci Said the Winter Makes for a Challenging Situation

It wasn't the first time Fauci used the word "ominous" to describe the pandemic surge. The key member of the White House coronavirus task force spoke with British international affairs think tank Chatham House on Thursday, explaining why we can't simply rely on the vaccine during this international health crisis. "We're not in a very good place right now," he said, "we are in a very difficult, challenging situation. 50 states in the United States are seeing increases in cases. This is a situation, particularly when you're now going into the middle of the fall with the cool weather and the soon to be cold weather in the winter when people are going to be congregating and out of necessity because of the weather indoors, that makes for a very challenging and ominous situation."

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How to Avoid Dying During the Pandemic

As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place, and follow Fauci's fundamentals so we don't have to lock down: Wear your face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, stay outdoors more than indoors, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.