The U.S.is "going in the wrong direction" in its effort to contain the novel coronavirus and daily case counts could more than double if behaviors don't change, infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci told a Senate panel Tuesday.
Fauci said the daily increase in new cases nationwide, now around 40,000, could reach 100,000 unless a full nationwide effort was undertaken to tamp down the resurgent virus.
Fauci explained that when several different strains of a virus simultaneously infect the same host, such as a pig, they can exchange genetic information.
He declined to make a prediction on the number of COVID-19-related deaths the US could experience.
Fauci said G4 is still in the examination stage - "It's not so-called, an immediate threat".
"We have way too much virus across the country for that right now, so it's very discouraging".
Many US states have paused reopenings as their infection caseloads balloon.
"Unfortunately, this simple life-saving practice has become part of the political debate that says if you're for Trump, you don't wear a mask, if you're against Trump, you do", Alexander 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.
"I can't make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing", Fauci replied. "We really have got to stop that", Fauci told Congress today.
He also offered a blunt message to the nation's young adults who have engaged in "dangerous" behaviour including congregating in bars, not wearing masks, and failing to follow social distancing guidelines. "They would follow his lead". American Airlines Group Inc.'s announcement on Friday that it would resume selling flights to capacity on July 1 rather than capping passengers to keep them socially distanced caused "substantial disappointment" among public health officials, he said.
"I think the attitude of pushing back from authority and pushing back on scientific data is very concerning", he said.
One suggestion is to pool testing samples. Florida's Miami-Dade County reported its highest numbers of hospitalizations, intensive-care patients and ventilator use in at least two months. There are several vaccines in the USA under development and in clinical trials, although Fauci warned, "there is no guarantee we will have a safe and effective vaccine".
The hearing comes as cases of the deadly respiratory virus have spiked across the United States, following calls from President Trump for states to reopen their economies and phase back into normal operations, despite health experts' guidance.
The president himself has bucked conventional wisdom on slowing the spread of COVID-19, holding large in-person events as part of his reelection campaign.