In an interview broadcast live on ABC News Instagram on Wednesday, Fauci said that he and Dr Deborah Birx – the White House coordinator on the coronavirus task force – delivered the warning to state governors. during a private phone call Tuesday.
He said Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana are among those states starting to show a subtle increase in “positive percentages” – the percentage of total tests with positive results.
It’s “a surefire clue that you might have the same kind of issues with these states that the southern states have had trouble with,” he told Dr Jennifer Ashton, chief medical correspondent for ABC News. .
Fauci said he and Birx “argued” in the call for governors that these states should push residents to wear masks, avoid crowds, avoid bars and wash their hands.
“If we do this, we hope that we will prevent several other states from becoming like the southern states,” he said.
Fauci’s warning comes after the number of cases rose this summer, especially in places like Texas, Florida and Arizona. The U.S. death toll on Wednesday reached 150,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
In his interview, Fauci said Asian and European countries have done better to bring transmission rates under control in part because they were so firm in shutting down this spring. Fauci estimated that only about half of the United States remained at home, allowing the virus to continue to infect people at exponential rates and overwhelm many hospitals, especially in the South.
The current US rate of 50,000 to 60,000 per day is “still not optimal,” he said.
Regarding schools, Fauci – whose daughter is a teacher – reiterated his position that everything should be done to reopen schools, but that this may not be realistic in areas where the virus is raging.
“I don’t think there will be a one-size-fits-all solution here,” he said. “I think we have to be careful with the main thought, we want to do our best to get the kids back to school. ”
When asked about his own fitness regimen, Fauci, who turns 80 in December, said he still enjoys running despite a late night work schedule. He said he usually gets up at 5 a.m. every morning, grabs juice or eggs, and drinks two “really strong” double espressos while attacking his email.
He says he often works well at night.
“Sleep is the only thing that really suffered in all of this,” he said.
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