Covid-19 cases continue to soar across the country and one top infectious disease expert warned Americans that the next few months will be the “darkest of the pandemic.”
© Jeff Chiu/AP
Dignity GoHealth worker Brandon Hastings uses an Abbott ID Now rapid antigen testing machine for United Airlines passengers who took tests at the SFO COVID-19 rapid testing site at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Health experts say the predicted fall surge is here, and rising cases across the US appear to bear that out. The US is averaging more than 55,000 new cases a day, and 10 states reported their highest single-day case counts on Friday. At least 27 states are showing an upward trend in the number of cases reported, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
“The next six to 12 weeks are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic,” Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told NBC’s”Meet the Press” on Sunday.
Osterholm highlighted the 70,000 cases of Covid-19 reported on Friday, which matched the largest number seen during the peak of the pandemic. Between now and the holidays, the US will see numbers “much, much larger than even the 67 to 75,000 cases,” he said.
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Despite the climbing totals, Dr. Anthony Fauci, nation’s top infectious disease doctor, said a nationwide lockdown is not the way forward unless the pandemic gets “really, really bad.”
“No, put shut down away and say, ‘We’re going to use public health measures to help us safely get to where we want to go,'” he said during an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday night.
Instead of seeing restrictions as a roadblock to an open economy, Fauci said that the fatigued American public should see public health measures as a way to safely keep it open.
Americans can help get the virus under control, experts say, by heeding guidelines touted by officials for months: avoiding crowded settings, practicing social distancing, keeping small gatherings outdoors and wearing a mask.
Osterholm, however, said the lack of a coordinated government response is hampering efforts to stem the pandemic.
“So, what we have right now is a major problem in messaging,” he said. “People don’t know what to believe, and that’s one of our huge challenges going forward, is we’ve got to get the message to the public that reflects the science and reflects reality.”
As of early Monday morning, there were more than 8.1 million cases and 219,674 coronavirus deaths in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Fauci looks to the FDA for vaccine safety
Public health measures will need to remain in place at least until a safe and effective vaccine is available.
When one is made available, Fauci said he will take it after looking at the data — and if it has been approved