(TheFreedomFlag.com)- If people don’t change their behavior quickly, COVID-19 infections could increase to 100,000 per day.
That’s what Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, told a Senate panel on Tuesday, saying the United States is “going in the wrong direction.”
Currently, the U.S. is seeing roughly 40,000 daily infections as new outbreaks are happening in the South and West. In 12 states, hospitalizations have increased, as Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Senate health committee.
Miami-Dade County in Florida has seen the largest number of hospitalizations, ICU patients and ventilator use in at least two months. ICUs in Houston, meanwhile, reached 97% of their normal capacity.
The culprit, Fauci said, is indoor gatherings such as bars that have lines stretching out doors and people standing “shoulder to shoulder” indoors.
“The numbers speak for themselves,” he said. “I’m very concerned. I’m not satisfied with what’s going on because we’re going in the wrong direction. Clearly, we are not in total control right now.”
Fauci wouldn’t provide an estimate on the number of potential deaths as a result of COVID-19, but did say: “It is going to be very disturbing, I guarantee you that.”
Recent surges in coronavirus infections have caused many states to rollback restrictions on daily life. California, which recorded its second-highest daily increase on Tuesday, is now requiring people to wear masks outside of the house. Texas, which reported another record on Monday, closed down bars.
Arizona hit pause on allowing gyms, bars and movie theaters to operate. Florida banned the consumption of alcohol at bars.
Meanwhile, states such as New York, Connecticut and New Jersey that experienced early outbreaks are pausing their re-opening efforts. They’ve also put in place self-quarantine orders for visitors from states that have high rates of test positivity. They added 16 more states to that order this week.
In all, economists at Goldman Sachs Group have estimated that more than 40% of the country has either halted ore reversed their economic re-openings.
Perhaps most troubling is the fact that more than half of states have an RO figure above 1. In other words, each person who has coronavirus infects at least one other person. This week, there were 36 states with an RO above 1, compared to 31 last week.
Surgeon General Jerome Adams pleaded with Americans to wear masks when going out into public. At a press briefing on Tuesday, he said:
“Please, please, please wear a face covering. It is not an inconvenience. It is not a suppression of your freedom.
“It adds to your convenience and your freedom because it allows us to open up more places and allows them to stay open.”
Fauci agrees with that sentiment. He said people need to get out of thinking that it’s “an all-or-nothing phenomenon,” that states either have to be completely locked down, or people can be in packed indoor spaces with no masks.
“I think we need to emphasize the responsibility we have as individuals and as part of a societal effort to end the epidemic, and we all have to play a part in that,” he said.