Dr. Fauci Tells Senators The US Is "Going In The Wrong Direction"

Anthony. Fauci

"Anything that furthers the use of masks, whether it's giving out free masks or any other mechanism, I am thoroughly in favor of", Fauci testified. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.). "That's why I've suggested that the president occasionally wear a mask, even though in most case it's not necessary for him to do so". The president has plenty of admirers.

"If you look at what's going on and just look at some of the film clips that you've seen of people congregating, often without masks, of being in crowds and jumping over and avoiding, and not paying attention to the guidelines that we very carefully put out we're going to continue to be in a lot of trouble and there's going to be a lot of hurt if that does not stop", Fauci said.

Now, as some states see the number of cases tick up dramatically, political leaders are actually reversing some of those original reopenings.

The outbreaks in various parts of the country put "the entire country at risk" and "clearly we don't have this under control", Fauci added.

Fauci said "there is no guarantee" that ongoing efforts will produce a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection by the virus, pouring cold water on hopes for a quick fix to the health crisis.

Unless Americans wear masks and recommit to social distancing, the daily increase in new cases nationwide, now around 40,000, could reach 100,000, Fauci told a US Senate committee. "Perhaps in some, they're going too quickly and skipping over some of the checkpoints, but even in states which the leadership in the form of the governors and mayors did it right, with the right recommendations, what we saw visually in clips and in photographs of individuals in the community doing an all-or-none phenomena, which is risky". "I think we need to emphasize the responsibility we have both as individuals and as part of a societal effort to ending the epidemic".

He also said he was "cautiously optimistic" that a vaccine could be ready by the end of the year or early 2021.

Fauci's statement came in response to a question from Sen.

"Public confidence in vaccines is so important", Dr. Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said during the Senate hearing.

Asked to forecast the outcome of recent surges in some US states, Fauci said he can't make an accurate prediction but believes it will be "very disturbing".

In parts of Texas and Arizona, hospital intensive care beds for COVID-19 patients are in short supply.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday launched a fresh attack on US President Donald Trump's "historic mismanagement" of the pandemic.

Graffiti depicting US President Trump, right, and China's President Xi Jinping kissing each other with face masks, displayed at a wall in Berlin, Germany.

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. In many states, bar-goers have spread the virus, according to reports.



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