Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY
Published 9:10 p.m. ET July 8, 2020 | Updated 7:47 a.m. ET July 9, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks to how personal responsibility and social distancing is the key to ending the spread of the coronavirus.
WASHINGTON – Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Wednesday that states need to face problems with their coronavirus responses because “if you don’t admit it, you can’t correct it.”
In an interview with “The Journal,” a podcast from the Wall Street Journal, Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, discussed the alarming rates of coronavirus cases that are surging in some states that reopened quickly.
“What we’re seeing is exponential growth, it went from an average of about 20,000 to 40,000 and 50,000. That’s doubling,” Fauci said.
Fauci told Congress last week that new coronavirus infections could increase to 100,000 a day if the nation doesn’t get its surge of cases under control.
During the interview, he discussed conversations the White House coronavirus task force has been having with governors and health officials from states where cases are spiking.
“Among the states, and there is admission from within,” the doctor explained. “Some states went too fast, some states went according to what the time table was, but the people in the state didn’t listen, and threw caution to the wind.”
Fauci was pressed on “mixed messaging” coming from the White House coronavirus task force regarding warnings he and other health officials such as Dr. Deborah L. Birx have sounded versus comments from elected officials such as Vice President Mike Pence.
“Well, you know, I think in fairness to the vice president, the vice president understands that. But he is trying in his role as the vice president to really in a certain sense also point out some of the things that are going well,” Fauci said. “So he is a person who is an optimistic person and is doing a very good job as the leader of the task force, I must say.”
He continued that he and other public health officials are “coldly” looking at the data that results in recommendations from the task force, but that as “a member of the task force, I’m telling you that we have a serious situation here that we really do need to address.”
His comments come a day after President Donald Trump disputed Fauci’s comments that the U.S. is still “knee-deep in the first wave” of the pandemic.
“I think we are in a good place. I disagree with him,” Trump said in an interview.
R-0 may be the most important scientific term you’ve never heard of when it comes to stopping the coronavirus pandemic.
The nation surpassed 3 million coronavirus cases and 132,256 deaths Wednesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The grim milestone represents roughly a quarter of the world’s cases and the same percentage of its deaths.
Tuesday saw a record 60,021 new cases as the nationwide surge showed no signs of ebbing.
Cases are surging in states such as Texas, Florida, and Arizona, and some have now paused or reversed their reopenings.
Fauci stressed that the public health “message” needs to work in tandem with states reopening in order for state’s to be able to protect their citizens’ health and the economy.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/07/08/covid-19-fauci-says-states-need-address-problems-response/5402957002/