Fauci: US cases of COVID-19 could hit 100,000 per day

Anthony Fauci: “I Would Not Be Surprised If We Go Up To 100,000 A ...

By Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver

The number of new cases of COVID-19 in the United States has gone up 80 percent in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database, adding to the country’s record of confirmed cases, which is the worst in the world.

It is a startling explosion of disease that is forcing a bottom-up reevaluation in many states of the wisdom of encouraging Americans to return to work, schools and everyday routines.

COVID-19’s threat is interpreted by some governors as “broader community spread” and not the result of expanded testing alone. State officials, rattled by the idea that containment may become a fantasy, are scrambling to try to salvage some of the hard-won gains they achieved before the summer.

Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, warned on Tuesday that the United States could see more than a doubling of current tallies of new cases every 24 hours (The Hill). “We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day,” Fauci said. “I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around. And so I am very concerned.”

The Associated Press: Coronavirus’s spread in GOP territory, explained in six charts.

The Associated Press: As the virus roars back, so do signs of a new round of layoffs.

Testifying before a Senate committee, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that while he is optimistic about the potential development of an effective vaccine, a cure for COVID-19 by early next year is “no guarantee” (New York Post).

The nation’s top public health advisers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration joined Fauci in telling senators during Tuesday’s hearing that they are working on multiple challenges at once, including a plan to build public trust in a future vaccine for COVID-19; guidance to school administrators about which schools should reconsider opening to students in the fall, based on virus activity in their areas; and worries about commercial decisions made by businesses, such as American Airlines, which will resume trying to fill seats to capacity (The New York Times).

On Tuesday, a wary New York decided to add California, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada and Tennessee to a list of states currently contending with growing caseloads of the coronavirus whose visitors are subject to 14 days of quarantine after their arrival in the Empire State. Violators could face fines (CNBC). Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said announcements about his state’s previous plans for safe reopening will be made today.

The New York Public Library’s marble lions, Patience and Fortitude, are adorned with giant blue muzzle coverings to “set an example” (pictured above). On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are doing something similar. Even Donald Trump Jr., face uncovered, joined the chorus during a Fox News appearance on Tuesday. “You know, I don’t think it’s too complicated to wear a mask,” he said (The Hill).

Prominent GOP leaders who until recently celebrated “individual choice” are now preaching to their constituents to cover their faces to keep themselves and others healthy. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) are imploring people to put on masks in public spaces, maintain physical distance from others and wash their hands frequently.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who is retiring from the Senate and is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, urged President Trump to wear a mask in public to help sweep away political stigma about how masks can help curb coronavirus transmissions.

“I have suggested the president should occasionally wear a mask even though there are not many occasions when it is necessary for him to do so,” Alexander told reporters. “The president has millions of admirers. They would follow his lead. It would help end this political debate. The stakes are too high for it to continue,” he added (The Hill).

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) revised his previous refusal to wear a mask and now says Republicans on a select committee will comply with a requirement for face coverings that was adopted by the Democratic majority. But there are conservative lawmakers, including a few on the House floor on Monday evening, who eschew masks and continue to congregate close together. The shift is especially marked in the Senate, where the GOP majority is in play amid voters’ dissatisfaction with Trump’s handling of the coronavirus and economic crises, reports The Hill’s Cristina Marcos and Juliegrace Brufke.

Fox News personalities joined in this week with some on-air mask boosterism. “Fox & Friends” host Steve Doocy told his audience on Tuesday that he believes the president should wear a mask to set an example during the pandemic. “Masks Are Great Again,” he quipped during an interview with Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

It is unclear if Trump, personally reluctant to appear in public in a mask, has been swayed by his children or fellow Republicans who now see face coverings as a tool to unlock the economy and protect health (and potential votes in November).

“I think they work,” Sean Hannity said on Monday during his prime-time program. “If I wear a mask, and if it opens up baseball, concerts, NFL football, I’d rather wear a mask to go to the game to protect grandma and grandpa, mom and dad, and watch the ball game” (The Hill).

Slate: GOP does an about-face on masks.

The Washington Post: Republican leaders now say everyone should wear a mask.

The Hill: After six months, failures outweigh successes for U.S. coronavirus responses.

BBC: COVID-19 is not the last pandemic. There’s a new swine flu in China that researchers fear could adapt to human-to-human transmission.

The Hill: Based on health and COVID-19 criteria, the European Union announced it will bar travelers from the United States as the 27-nation bloc begins in July to lift restrictions tied to the coronavirus.

The New York Times editorial board: Americans sacrificed to flatten the curve. Their leaders have let them down.

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