The seven-day average of new cases reached 68,767 on Sunday, surpassing the previous high of 67,293 reported on July 22. The two highest days for new cases were Friday and Saturday, with more than 83,000 new cases added each day.
Health experts say the upsurge in cases they’ve warned will hit in the fall and winter are here and could be worse than what the United States has experienced so far . Soaring numbers in the United States – where there have been more than 8.6 million infections altogether and 225,230 people have died – shows the nation is at a “dangerous tipping point,” said the Former US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on CBS News on Sunday.
“We’re going into what’s going to be the steep slope of the curve, of the epidemic curve,” Gottlieb told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation.”
Although cases are increasing across the country, Gottlieb said things will start to get worse over the next two or three weeks. He said he did not plan to implement a strong political intervention that could curb the spread.
A national mask warrant could be a necessary inconvenience
A national mask warrant could be one way to bring the virus under control, Gottlieb wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. The title of the article is “Winter is Coming: Time for a Mask Mandate”.
“A term can be expressly limited to the next two months,” Gottlieb wrote, adding that it is easier to wear a mask in winter than in summer. “The downside would allow the country to preserve health care capacity and keep more schools and businesses open. ”
With deaths expected to increase this winter, policymakers will need to take action to slow the spread, Gottlieb wrote. There is already no support for the reestablishment of spring focus orders.
If 95% of Americans wore masks in public, more than 100,000 lives could be saved in the United States through February, according to data released Friday by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
“If people don’t wear masks, then maybe we should make it mandatory,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Friday.
Gottlieb wrote that the concern about the need for fines to enforce the warrant leading to confrontations with police is not necessarily true.
“States should be able to choose how to apply a mandate, but the goal should be to make masks a social and cultural norm, not a political declaration,” he wrote. “Mandating the masks has become a divisive factor only because it was designed that way by some politicians and commentators. “
Heads of State back on their guard
More than two-thirds of states have reported an increase in cases over the past week, and no state is currently reporting an improvement greater than 10%. As national totals soar, with heads of state pushing for prevention among their citizens.
In El Paso County, Texas, where the spike in cases has pushed all hospitals and intensive care units to full capacity, officials have implemented a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew to the next two weeks, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said in a virtual session Sunday night. press conference.
“The purpose of the curfew is to limit mobility in the community,” said Samaniego.
Even in Arkansas, where new cases dropped to 797 on Sunday after days of more than 1,000 cases daily, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has warned residents not to be too hopeful.
A vaccine likely won’t protect against the virus until 2021
Researchers may be in the race to develop a vaccine, but Gottlieb said it was unrealistic to think one will be ready for distribution in time for this outbreak.
“This vaccine will not affect the contours of what we are going to go through, which is going to be played out in the next two or three months,” he said.
Even if a vaccine becomes available this year and goes to the first group of patients, likely the elderly and healthcare workers, they won’t have protective immunity for some time in 2021, Gottlieb pointed out.
“We will know if a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, beginning of December,” Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the BBC on Sunday. “The amount of doses that will be available in December will certainly not be enough to get everyone vaccinated – you will have to wait several months in 2021.”
Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Fauci added that vaccinating a “substantial proportion of the population” so that there can be a “significant impact on the dynamics of the epidemic” would probably not be possible until the second or third quarter of 2021.
“What I do foresee is that with an effective vaccine and the continuation of some form of public health measures, as we progress through the months of 2021, into the third and fourth quarters. , we will see a considerable approach towards some form of normality, ”Fauci told Marr.
National Institutes of Health director Dr Francis Collins said on Friday that while he was “cautiously optimistic” that the United States would have a licensed vaccine by the end of the year, he has stated that this “might not happen and it might take longer.”
Jay Croft, Jacqueline Howard, Christina Maxouris, Artemis Moshtaghian, Ray Sanchez, Ganesh Setty, Alec Snyder, Alta Spells, Naomi Thomas and Amir Vera contributed to this report.