“It’s going to be a bad week for the dead,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, on Fox News.
Fauci said deaths are generally behind other aspects of the epidemic such as new cases and hospitalization. The new cases appear to be nearing their peak and the hospitalization rate is declining, he said.
After this week, the United States should see the “start of a turnaround,” said Fauci.
“So we have to keep pushing on mitigation strategies because there is no doubt that this has a positive impact on the dynamics of the epidemic,” he said. “Now is not the time to back off at all. Now is the time to step up. “
The White House previously predicted that 100,000 to 240,000 people in the United States would die from the coronavirus. As people continue to practice social distancing, Fauci said the projection should drop.
The virus, which appeared in China just over three months ago, infected nearly 400,000 people in the United States and killed at least 12,911 on Wednesday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
New York is the epicenter of the U.S. epidemic. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that the state had seen its biggest jump in one day in COVID-19 deaths since the start of the epidemic a few months ago.
Deaths have jumped as the number of ICU admissions began to decrease, giving the state some leeway to increase supplies and staff to handle an expected wave of cases in the coming weeks, a he declared. “Behind each of these figures, there is an individual, a family, a mother, a father, a brother, a sister. So a lot of pain still today, “he said.
On Tuesday, Fauci, who sits on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, said the COVID-19 epidemic was “clearing up” the “unacceptable” health disparities between blacks and whites.
“Again, when you have a situation like coronavirus, they suffer disproportionately,” said Fauci of the minorities.
“It’s not that they get infected more often. It’s that when they are infected, their underlying medical condition… wipes them out of the ICU, “he said at a White House press conference on Tuesday.