Coronavirus: US officials warn 'this is just the beginning'

Anthony Fauci director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases warned Congress that the US was headed in the

Fauci pointed out that the country is already seeing 40,000 new cases per day, and he doesn't see that caseload going down if outbreaks in different parts of the US continue to increase.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that the United States is "going in the wrong direction" as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to climb across the country. During testimony before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Tuesday, Fauci said it's hard to precisely predict how bad the spread of the virus will get, but said he believes it will be "very disturbing".

"We are now having 40-plus-thousand cases a day", he said during a televised Senate hearing.

Speaking to the Senate HELP Committee hearing, Fauci said "the Chinese, over the last week or two have identified a virus - in the environment - it has not yet shown to be infecting humans, but it is exhibiting what we call reassortment capability".

Health officials across the United States have expressed growing concern about the nation's ability and willingness to slow or end the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. has recorded more than 2.6 million cases in total, with more than 126,000 deaths from the virus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Responding to people's resistance to wearing masks, Fauci said it was "a recipe for disaster" and said some states had reopened too quickly.

US President Donald Trump does not wear a mask in public defying his own government's guidelines on helping prevent the spread of coronavirus
Fauci Warns US 'Unlikely' To Reach Herd Immunity If Too Many Refuse Vaccine

Health officials continue to urge everyone to do their part to control the spread, by washing hands, maintaining physical distance and wearing masks.

"Clearly we are not in total control right now", Fauci said.

The head of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, sounded the alarm about rising trajectories in several jurisdictions, including COVID-19 hospitalisations rising in 12 states, and said it was "critical" that every American takes personal responsibility and "embraces the use of face coverings".

"Unfortunately, this simple lifesaving practice has become part of the political debate that says this: If you're for Trump, you don't wear a mask. If you're against Trump, you do", said the chaiman, Sen.

"I have suggested the president should occasionally wear a mask, even though there are not many occasions when it is necessary for him to do so", he said. The president has plenty of admirers.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday launched a fresh attack on US President Donald Trump's "historic mismanagement" of the pandemic. "Hopefully there will be doses available by the beginning of next year", he said.

But when asked by CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen whether the US can get to herd immunity if 25% of the population refuses to get a coronavirus vaccine with that rate of effectiveness, Fauci said, "No, unlikely".


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