Skip to content

Dr. Fauci Just Said When Surge May Reverse

“We're dealing, as we all know now, with an unprecedented outbreak with COVID-19.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

The coronavirus surge is "a real challenge" right now, warns Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "If you look at people who are unvaccinated compared to vaccinated, the latest statistics are, an unvaccinated person has a 10 times greater chance of getting infected, a 17 times greater chance of getting hospitalized and a 20 times greater chance of dying compared to a vaccinated person," he said to Kathy Roth-Douquet, Co-Founder and CEO of Blue Star Families, about the state of COVID right now, and how you can stay safe. Read on for 5 life-saving pieces of advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Dr. Fauci Warned We're Approaching 2,000 Deaths a Day

Infected patient in quarantine lying in bed in hospital, coronavirus concept.

"We're dealing, as we all know now, with an unprecedented outbreak with COVID-19, that continually rechallenges us with new variants," said Dr. Fauci. "We've gone from the original strain, the ancestral strain through Alpha and Beta and Delta. And now we're dealing with Omicron, which is very unusual because of its extraordinary capability of spreading so efficiently from human to human. We are now having record numbers of cases, record numbers of hospitalizations. And we are still at a situation we're approaching about 2,000 deaths per day." And although "the fact that it is known now through multiple observations in different countries to be inherently a bit less severe, nonetheless, the sheer volume of infections is making a real challenge."


Dr. Fauci Said Here's When the Current Surge May Reverse

Female nurse examining all the parameters in operating room

When will this current surge peak? "It's not gonna be uniform throughout the country because we have different dynamics and different regions of the country," said Dr. Fauci. "Right now, there's no doubt that in New York City and other parts of New York state and in New Jersey, it has already peaked and is rather dramatically on its way down. We're seeing that also in bigger cities, such as Chicago, whereas in cities in the south, it has not yet peaked and likely we'll have more of a slower incline and a slower decline such as in places like New Orleans and in other cities in Louisiana…. Getting back to when the entire country will be in a situation where it turns around. I think as I mentioned, we're already starting to see that in some cities I would imagine as we get into February into the middle of February 1st few weeks of February, it is very likely that most of the states in the country will have turn around with their peak and are starting to come down with regard to cases. And then obviously hospitalizations."


Dr. Fauci Said Here's What it Means to "Learn to Live With COVID"—We Can't Do That Yet

Patient in ambulance with paramedics, wearing face masks

Some virus experts are saying eventually—not now, but eventually—we will "need to learn to live with the virus." "But what exactly does that mean? And, and do you think that's true?" asked Roth-Douquet. "When you say live with the virus, you mean to get the level of spread in the community with its subsequent impact on severe disease and hospitals, that you get it to such a low level, that in fact it is indistinguishable from many of the other respiratory infections that we've learned to deal with and live with, like respiratory sinchintal virus, RSV, parainfluenza, adenovirus, and influenza, of course. So getting it down to a low enough level that it doesn't disrupt our lives, our economy, and doesn't create continual fear of illness, severe illness in the community. One thing is for sure: we're not there yet because when you have 156,000 people in the hospital in 800,000 new cases a day and 2,000 deaths per day, that's not a level that we wanna learn to live with. Right? We've gotta get that level much, much lower than that."


Dr. Fauci Was Asked if Alpha or Delta May Come Back

Technician holding tube of blood test identified with the label Covid-19 DELTA Variant.

"One of the things that is peculiar— coronaviruses, that's different than smallpox or measles is that smallpox, once you get infected, you're protected for life, mostly because smallpox doesn't mutate very much or change. So if you get re-exposed to smallpox, you're not gonna get reinfected. The same holds true for measles—once you get infected, you are protected for life, mostly because measles doesn't change that much. The reason I can't say the same thing for Omicron or for Delta, is that the durability of the protection isn't lifelong. So you could be protected for a few months, five months, six months, seven months, a year, two years, who knows, but it isn't lifelong. So there is the likelihood that if you get exposed over a period of time, that you might get reinfected." That's why "even though you have been infected with Delta or with Omicron, get vaccinated, because then you would greatly heighten your degree of protection against reinfection." 


Dr. Fauci Said Cold Weather is Bad News

Portrait of sick young man in blue jacket put on a hood, having a cold, feeling unwell, coughing, wearing medical face mask, outdoors

Roth-Douquet asked if warm weather may be our friend and result in fewer cases. "The warmer weather may not be our friend, but the colder weather is definitely our enemy," said Dr. Fauci. "And the reason I say that is that this virus, unlike other respiratory viruses, does pretty well in the warm weather when people are outside, as opposed to inside any respiratory infection is less likely to spread since respiratory infection spread, where there's enclosed places with poor ventilation, you get that mostly in the winter because of the colder weather throughout most regions of the country. And that's one of the reasons why one of the tenets of good public health practice is that when you are indoors in a congregate setting, even though you are vaccinated and boosted, you still should wear a mask." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek
Filed Under