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Dr. Fauci Warns of a 'Real Problem' Coming Soon

"We should be doubling down" on this instead, he says.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, has called President Trump's political rallies "asking for trouble" as coronavirus cases rise across the country.

A week after leaving the hospital where he was treated for COVID-19, Trump resumed his re-election campaign by holding a large in-person rally in Florida, where face masks and social distancing were not required.  

Asked by CNN's Jake Tapper to evaluate that from a public health perspective, Fauci said, "Put aside all of the issues of what the political implications the rally has and just put that aside and look at purely from the context of public health. We know that's asking for trouble when you do that. We have seen that when you have situations of congregate settings where there are a lot of people without masks, the data speak for themselves. And now is even more so a worse time to do that." Read on to hear his other warnings, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

'We should be doubling down' on this instead, says Fauci

Fauci referred to data that shows coronavirus rates climbing steeply in many states. "It's going in the wrong direction right now, so if there's anything we should be doing, we should be doubling down in implementing the public health measures that we've been talking about for so long, which are keeping a distance, no crowds, wearing masks, washing hands, doing things outside as opposed to inside, in order to get those numbers down," he said.

RELATED: Everything Dr. Fauci Has Said About Coronavirus

COVID-19 has killed more than 210,000 Americans, with nearly 7.8 million infected overall. Public health officials like Fauci have expressed worry about this fall and winter, as cool weather brings people inside where the virus is more easily transmitted. 

"We're entering into the cooler months of the fall and ultimately the cold months of the winter, and that's just a recipe of a real problem if we don't get things under control before we get into that seasonal challenge," said Fauci.

Daily new cases consistently high nationwide

The nation's seven-day moving average of COVID-19 cases has consistently topped 40,000. On Oct. 11, the count exceeded 50,000—five times higher than the 10,000 daily cases Fauci has said would be an acceptable maximum heading into cold weather.

President Trump has repeatedly criticized the use of face masks, rarely wearing one himself and discouraging their use in the White House.

RELATED: I'm a Doctor and Here's When You Can Safely Keep Your Mask Off

Fauci previously called a Sept. 26 event at the White House in honor of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, where few attendees wore masks or practiced social distancing—and which has been linked to 34 cases of coronavirus in and near the White House, including Trump himself—a "superspreader event."

As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: 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, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael
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