Dr. Fauci Warns Doing This Now Would Be "Very Risky"
You're tired of the coronavirus pandemic and, believe it or not, so is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He "understands" the impulse to pull back on restrictions, as states like Texas and Mississippi have done—and knows you may personally be feeling "COVID fatigue." But yesterday, he went on Face the Nation with host Margaret Brennan to warn that letting your guard down now would be the exact wrong thing to do. Read on to see what he called "very risky" behavior—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Says Cases Are Currently at "Quite a High Level" and Acting Otherwise is "Very Risky"
Dr. Fauci's concern is "based on the fact that although the cases are coming down very nicely, you have a very sharp diminution over the past week and a half or so"—he pointed his hand down—"We've seen that that decline has now done this"—he put his hand flat—"essentially starting to plateau. And historically, if you look back at the different surges we've had when they come down and then start to plateau at a very high level—plateauing at a level of 60 to 70,000 new cases per day—is not an acceptable level. That is really very high."
In previous months, when we had cases that high, it was cause for alarm. Now, worryingly, it seems to feel OK just because it's lower than the highest of highs. "And if you look at what happened in Europe a few weeks ago, they're usually a couple of weeks ahead of us in these patterns. They were coming down to then they plateaued and over the last week or so, they've had about a 9% increase in cases. So the message we're saying is that we do want to come back carefully and slowly about pulling back on mitigation methods, but don't turn it switch on and off because it really would be risky to have yet again, another surge, which we do not want to happen because we're plateauing at quite a high level, 60 to 70,000 new infections per day is quite hard."
Virus Expert Agrees With Dr. Fauci's Warning
One of the nation's preeminent coronavirus experts, Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, appeared on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday morning with a warning similar to Dr. Fauci's. "Let me just say we are in the eye of the hurricane right now," said Osterholm. "It appears that things are going very well." You might "see blue skies," he said. "We've been through a terrible, terrible year, but what we know is about to come upon us is this situation with this variant of virus that originated the United Kingdom, that today is wreaking havoc in parts of Europe—27 countries have seen significant cases with this really hitting hard. Many of these countries have been in lockdown now for two months, just to try to control this virus." Just recently, the variants made up "4% of the viruses we were seeing in communities across the country. Today it's up to 30 to 40%. And when we've seen in Europe, when we hit that 50% mark you'll see cases surge. So right now we do have to keep America as safe as we can from this virus, by not letting up on any of the public health measures we've taken. And we need to get people vaccinated as quickly as we can."
How to Stay Safe During This Pandemic
So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this pandemic, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don't travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, 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.