During a Friday appearance on MSNBC, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading infectious disease expert in the U.S., pushed back on Donald Trump’s claim that the country is “rounding the final turn” on the coronavirus pandemic. As reported by The Hill, Fauci warned that the pandemic could get worse if Americans are not careful to continue focusing on taking preventative measures against the virus.
“I have to disagree with that, because if you look at… the statistics, they are disturbing. We’re plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day. And the deaths are around a thousand,” he said.
The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases also said he hopes there is no post-Labor Day surge in COVID-19 infections as there was following the Fourth of July and Memorial Day holidays. According to Fauci, the infection rate in the U.S. is already concerning.
Trump on Thursday said that America is almost done with the virus and expressed hope that there will be vaccines ready “very soon.” Per CNBC, the president noted that new weekly cases in the country have decreased by 44 percent since July. But Fauci pushed back on the president’s optimism and called the data “disturbing.”
Fauci warned that the current daily case count does not bode well for the country’s position in the upcoming fall and winter. His warnings come as other public health experts claim that a continuous decline in new infections must take place in the lead-up to colder weather.
Johns Hopkins University data claims that there have been 6.3 million reported coronavirus infections in the U.S. since the pandemic began. As of Friday afternoon, approximately 192,000 Americans have died from the virus, a daily jump of 914. Although 28 states are observing a downward trend in new infections, 14 states continue to remain steady.
The CDC predicts that between 205,000 and 217,000 U.S. residents will succumb to the virus by October 3.
As Fauci and other public health experts continue to promote safety measures to curb the spread of the virus, vaccines are undergoing clinical trials. As The Inquisitr reported, AstraZeneca’s trial was put on pause due to one test subject falling ill, which is a common occurrence, according to Fauci.
Although vaccine development typically takes years, Trump’s Operation Warp Speed is aiming to push one out as soon as possible, ideally before the upcoming election. Fauci previously said that a vaccine could be ready sooner than expected if clinical trials go smoothly.