Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation's leading experts on infectious diseases, warned Sunday that it's "unlikely" the USA will achieve herd immunity to the coronavirus if a portion of the population refuses to get a coronavirus vaccine.
Fauci testified alongside Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield; Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn; and Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services, before the Senate's health committee hearing meant to focus on safely reopening schools and businesses.
Dr Fauci said he believed some states are "skipping over some of the checkpoints" that assure safe re openings of business and public spaces.
The US reported a record number of new coronavirus cases in a single day on Friday, with 36 states reporting a rise in infections and Texas, Florida and Arizona particularly badly hit. You should avoid crowds when possible and when you are outside and have no ability to keep your distance, you must wear a mask at all times.
"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. States like Florida and Texas, which were among the last states to shutdown and the first states to reopen, risk progress made by states like NY and New Jersey, he said. "And so I am very concerned". The United States cannot count on the availability of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, the government's top infectious diseases expert said on Tuesday, and he warned that the daily surge in cases could more than double if Americans fail to take steps to get the virus under control.
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"I'm very concerned and I'm not satisfied with what's going on, because we're going in the wrong direction", he testified to a Senate panel. Fauci declined to give a number. Vice President Mike Pence appeared in Texas over the weekend in a mask and spoke about the value of covering your face in protecting against the virus.
"Now we're seeing the consequences of community spread, which is even more hard to contain than spread in a well-known physical location like a prison or nursing home or meatpacking place", Fauci told the cable channel in the interview, which was recorded on Friday.
By early afternoon Tuesday, more than 2.6 million coronavirus infections have been confirmed along with 126,360 deaths.
"We have way too much virus across the country for that right now, so it's very discouraging".
Some health experts have expressed worry that FDA will rush to approve a vaccine before enough is known about safety or efficacy but the agency sought to allay those fears with the guidance.