Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke before the United States Senate again on Tuesday, saying that he "would not be surprised" if the number of new coronavirus cases reached 100,000 per day soon. Fauci noted that the U.S. must take action to slow the spread of the virus, as the current trends do not look good.
Fauci told senators that "the numbers speak for themselves" as he testified before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, according to a report by CBS News. The 79-year-old epidemiologist said he is "very concerned" about rising case numbers in states that have tried to reopen some public spaces. "Clearly we are not in total control right now," Fauci said. "We're going in the wrong direction" in terms of new cases. Fauci said he could not estimate how many people would ultimately be infected, but said the numbers could get much worse."
Fauci tried to put into perspective just how upsetting it would be for Americans to watch coronavirus cases rising in some parts of the country and not others due to a difference in leadership. He said that one community failing to take this crisis seriously inherently puts all the other communities in danger.
"It is going to be very disturbing, I will guarantee you that, because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country they're doing well, they are vulnerable," he said. "We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around."
This dire new warning comes as Texas considers implementing curfews and stay-at-home orders yet again due to record-high diagnoses of COVID-19. The same is true in Florida — another state that was one of the first to try to reopen businesses.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gained recognition as a member of the White House coronavirus task force earlier this year. He joined President Donald Trump in near-daily press briefings on the outbreak, but the Trump administration eventually tried to block him from testifying before the U.S. Congress. He has now spoken before the Senate a few times.
The director of the CDC, Dr. Robert Redfield, and several other health experts joined Fauci. They reportedly discussed rising hospitalizations, as well as the difficulties in either opening schools in the fall or keeping them closed — both of which present problems.