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Dr. Fauci says it would have to be ‘really, really bad’ for him to support Lockdown

Despite the United States bracing for the second wave of Coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US expert on infectious diseases is of the view that things would have to get “really, really bad” for him to support a national lockdown. The country is recording more than 55,000 new cases per day – a 60% increase since a mid-September slump – and the health experts fear that the nation is just about to see a dreadful spike in fall. On Friday, the country reported the most cases recorded in a single day since July. More than 8.1mn cases have been registered as of Saturday with 219,666 fatalities as per the numbers provided by Johns Hopkins University.

With all the previous and current measures to control and stem the virus looking unproductive, “the country is fatigued with restrictions,” said Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in an interview on Sunday night.

“We want to use public health measures not to get in the way of opening the economy, but to being a safe gateway to opening the economy,” Fauci told CBS News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jonathan LaPook during the interview.

“So instead of having an opposition, open up the economy, get jobs back, or shut down. 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 added that he will not certainly believe that US is “on the road to essentially getting out of this.”

There is now no place in the country where coronavirus case counts are seeing a decline as the country sees a renewed tide which the health experts say will be a big challenge for both administration and public in the coming months. Only Missouri and Vermont have witnessed a more than 10% improvement as reported case count goes in the right direction over the past week. Caseload in Florida and Connecticut climbs to 50% or more.

20 states have averaged a spike between 10 to 50% including Colorado, Idaho, Alabama, Nebraska, Kansas, Georgia, Minnesota, Arizona, Michigan, New Jersey, Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota, Indiana, Ohio, Washington, South Carolina, West Virginia, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Wyoming, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Nevada. While new cases are static in the remaining states.

“This really is a harrowing time, and people have to be careful,” epidemiologist Dr. Abdul El-Sayed said.

The spike could turn worse

According to Johns Hopkins, 10 states on Friday went on to record the highest cases in a single day including Minnesota, West Virginia, Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado, North Carolina, Indiana, Wisconsin, Idaho and North Dakota.

As infections mount, the number of hospitalizations has also increased. In New Mexico, hospital admissions have gathered a pace, averaging 101% in October, according to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. More patients will likely move to hospitals after the rise in the daily death rate, said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the Nations Institutes of Health.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Currently sailing with 700 COVID-19 deaths per day, the United Sates, the daily fatality count averages lower than the daily peak of 1000 seen in July and August. University of Washington researchers on the basis of the currently available trends predict that that death toll will rise to 2,300 daily deaths by mid-January.

“When we saw this kind of transmission earlier on in the pandemic, in March and April, the virus hadn’t seeded everywhere. … This surge has the potential to be way worse than it was than either the spring or the summer,” El-Sayed, Detroit’s former health director, said.

Support gathering for fresh restrictions

Americans can through curbs put the virus under control according to experts by respecting the guidelines floated by officials for months which include measures such as using a facial mask, social distancing and no crowded gatherings.

“This is a good moment for people to stop and ask themselves: ‘What can I do to try to be sure that we limit the further infections that otherwise seem to be looming in front of us as cold weather is kicking in and people are indoors, and those curves are going upward, in the wrong direction?'” said Collins on Friday.

The surge in the cases have prompted states to push new restrictions to stem the virus. Nebraska’s Governor Pete Ricketts revealed the new health measures that included requiring health facilities to reserve at least 10% of their general and ICU beds for COVID carriers. Similarly, in Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear said this month he ordered his subordinates to make the masks mandatory, place limits on public gatherings and enforce a 10pm closing time for pubs and bars.

“Every New Mexican can and must do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying home, limiting their interactions with others, and wearing their masks,” Grisham tweeted.