Dr. Anthony Fauci, leading infectious disease expert and member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, warned lawmakers on Tuesday that the U.S. could see 100,000 coronavirus cases per day if it can’t quell the new wave of coronavirus cases.
“We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around and so I am very concerned,” Fauci said during a coronavirus hearing on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
Fauci expressed concern over Americans’ lack of mask-wearing and following social distancing guidelines, especially amid nationwide protests.
“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,” he said.
“We are all in this together,” Fauci said. “We recommend masks for everyone on the outside, anyone who comes into contact in a crowded area. You should avoid crowds where possible and when you’re outside and not have the capability of maintaining distance, you should wear a mask at all times.”
The U.S. has seen nearly one million new coronavirus cases in June alone, according to tracking data from Johns Hopkins University. A total of 2.6 million cases have been confirmed in the U.S. and more than 126,000 deaths.
On Friday alone, the U.S. reported more than 40,000 new coronavirus cases, marking the largest single-day surge.
“I am not satisfied with what’s going on because we are going in the wrong direction if you look at the curves of the new cases, so we’ve really got to do something about that and we need to do it quickly,” Fauci said, adding, “Clearly we are not in total control right now.”
Fauci said he couldn’t predict the number of cases and deaths the U.S. would see before the end of the pandemic, but indicated it would be high.
“It’s going to be very disturbing, I will guarantee you that,” he said.
“Masks are extremely important,” Fauci said, adding, “There’s no doubt that wearing masks protects you and gets you to be protected. So it’s people protecting each other. Anything that furthers the use of masks, whether it’s giving out free masks or any other mechanism, I am thoroughly in favor of.”