Dr. Anthony Fauci says that a second wave of the coronavirus in "inevitable," but how the United States deals with it will make all the difference between whether or not the country experiences a "bad fall and a bad winter."
While speaking with CNN, Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, warned that the country needs to implement a variety of tactics in the coming months to prepare for a second wave of the pandemic, which he feels is likely to happen.
"If by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well," he said. "If we don't do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter."
Fauci also addressed concerns that some states are reopening their economies too quickly. He warned that if a state opens prematurely, it could "get us right back in the same boat that we were a few weeks ago."
Some models predict that 72,000 people will die within the next few months, but Fauci says that number could increase if states open early.
On the other hand, Fauci said that social distancing measures can safely be lifted if certain measures are in place. The most important of those is a robust testing system that enables officials to test, track, and then isolate people who have the virus.
However, many state leaders say that they don't have the capacity necessary to test at the level recommended by experts. Nationwide, the country is lagging behind other developed nations. While the U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, it only has performed 16.4 tests for every thousand people.
In Italy, which has the third-highest number of cases, the country is testing at a rate of 29.7 to 1,000 people. Spain, with the second-highest number of cases, is testing 22.3 for every 1,000 people.
Fauci said that cooperation between the federal government and the states is going to be key in creating an adequate testing infrastructure."The truth is that we're going in the right direction," he said. "But we need to continue to partner in a very active collaborative way with the states, we need to help them the same way they need to do the execution."
Fauci has also said in recent days that he has confidence that a vaccine will be developed by the winter, The Inquisitr previously reported.