Fauci says those states should be careful not to go down the deep southern road.
Several states including Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana need to bring the virus under control or risk seeing their transmission rates go out of control, warned Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation̵7;s top infectious disease expert. .
In an interview aired on ABC News on Instagram on Wednesday, Fauci said he and Dr. Deborah Birx – the White House coordinator on the coronavirus task force – gave the warning to the governors of the states in a private phone call on Tuesday.
He said Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana are among those states starting to show a subtle increase in “positive percentages” – the percentage of total tests with positive results.
That’s “a sure hint that you might be getting into the same kind of trouble with those states that the southern states have gotten into trouble with,” said Dr. Jennifer Ashton, chief medical correspondent of ABC News.
Fauci said he and Birx “made the point” in calling on governors that these states must take residents to wear masks, avoid crowds, avoid bars and wash their hands.
“If we do that, we hope we don’t let several other states become just like the southern states,” he said.
Fauci’s warning comes after the number of cases has been rising this summer, particularly in places like Texas, Florida and Arizona. The U.S. death toll on Wednesday hit 150,000, according to a count from Johns Hopkins University.
In his interview, Fauci said that the countries of Asia and Europe did better to get the transmission rates under control partly because they were so firm in stopping this spring. Fauci estimated that only about half of the U.S. stayed home, allowing the virus to continue to infect people at exponential rates and load many hospitals, particularly in the South.
The current U.S. rate of 50,000 to 60,000 a day is “not yet optimal,” he said.
On schools, Fauci – whose daughter is a teacher – reiterated his position that everything possible should be done to reopen schools but to do so may not be unrealistic in areas where the virus is my heart.
“I don’t think there will be one size at all,” he said. “I think we have to be careful with the main thought that we want, that we want to try our best to get the kids back to school.”
When asked about his own fitness scheme, Fauci, who is 80 in December, said he still likes to walk despite a work schedule that goes well at night. He said he typically gets up at 5am every morning, takes juice or eggs and that he will drink two “very healthy” double espressos as soon as he addresses his email.
He says it often works well at night.
“Sleep is the only thing that really suffered in all of this,” he said.
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