Dr. Anthony Fauci has a stark warning for Americans, reiterating that if our response to the coronavirus does not change, there could be more hospitalizations and deaths.
“If things do not change, if they continue on the course we’re on, there’s gonna be a whole lot of pain in this country with regard to additional cases and hospitalizations, and deaths,” Fauci said in an interview Wednesday evening on “The News with Shepard Smith.”
Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has repeatedly told lawmakers and other news outlets the country’s coronavirus case numbers are going in the “wrong direction.”
Cases are rising in almost every state and territory, and coronavirus-positive patients are overwhelming hospitals in some parts of the country.
The Midwest is especially hard hit right now, with Wisconsin reporting a 7-day positivity rate of 28 percent. Most municipalities try to keep that number below 5 percent to allow lockdown restrictions to loosen up.
Smith asked Fauci if there should be a national mask mandate.
“We do. If we don’t get one (national mask mandate) I would hope the governors and the mayors do it locally, if it’s not done nationally,” Fauci responded.
Many states across the country have had to tighten stay-at-home restrictions in the last few weeks, putting stricter limits on gathering sizes, indoor business capacities and mask wearing both inside and outside.
As of Thursday morning, there are more than 8.8 million confirmed cases of coronavirus since the pandemic started in the U.S., and more than 227,000 deaths.
Wednesday alone, nearly 79,000 new people reported testing positive for the coronavirus in this country, and nearly 1,000 people died.
“There is very little appetite for a lockdown in this country,” Fauci told Shepard Smith. “There’s going to be major pushback both from above and at the local level, however, what Melbourne did, what Australia did as a country, was very successful.”
Melbourne only reopened Wednesday, after residents spent three months under strict lockdown orders.
While he doesn’t feel America would be able to commit to something like that, Dr. Fauci suggests being better about mask wearing, social distancing and avoiding crowds.
Dr. Fauci’s warning that more pain could come echos warnings from a recent projection that more than half a million Americans could die of the coronavirus by March if there are no changes to our efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.
“We find that achieving universal mask use (95% mask use in public) could be sufficient to ameliorate the worst effects of epidemic resurgences in many states,” the study stated.
Researchers found even if 85 percent of universal mask wearing is achieved, an additional 95,000 lives could be saved.
According to the study, the national average for self-reported mask wearing is at just 49 percent as of late-September.