‘Surge on a surge’: Dr Fauci warns of COVID-19 infections that are worse than any previous outbreak

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Dr Anthony Fauci is concerned about the holidays.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and an expert in infectious diseases for four decades, told Gov. Jared Polis (D., Colo.) In a live video meeting on Tuesday that the United States was at risk to experience a flare. ”

He said the United States was at the heart of a public health crisis. “Now that we are in the middle or late fall, merging with winter,” added Fauci, “we have seen, due to various circumstances, a push that has really overtaken the others. “

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“We just need to stay together a little longer.
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– Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases

More than 3 million air passengers passed through U.S. airports over Thanksgiving weekend, according to the Transportation Security Administration, making it the busiest weekend by plane since the closure of travel restrictions and businesses in mid-March.

Christmas shopping, the holiday season and possibly more air and road trips to see family in December pose another “precarious risk” for the United States, Fauci, 79, told Polis in his livestream. “This is something that is quite problematic,” he added. “It’s the least we can say.”

He said people were suffering from pandemic fatigue, but urged them to hang on a little longer for a vaccine or vaccines: “Once there, we can crush this epidemic like we did with smallpox. , polio and measles. So we can do it. We just need to stay together a little longer.

After he and his partner, first gentleman Marlon Reis, tested positive for the coronavirus, Polis said in a separate radio interview on CRP that he was relieved that he hadn’t spent Thanksgiving with his family. “We are tired of not seeing our friends and relatives. We’re tired of not having the quality of life we ​​want to have, but you know what? We’re almost there, ”he says.

“It’s a potentially deadly game of odds, and chances are Marlon and I won’t have to go to the hospital,” Polis, 45, told the Colorado Matters radio show host. , Ryan Warner. “I just recovered the data and for people aged 39-45, there’s about a 4% chance that each of us will have to leave.”

“I’m so happy, of course, that we didn’t have Thanksgiving with my parents,” Polis added. “I haven’t seen them for nine months. They are 76 years old and my mom suffers from breathing problems, so it’s a very different trajectory for them.

The CDC said in a recent statement that “unfortunately the COVID-19 epidemic is worsening and small household gatherings are a major contributor to the increase in COVID-19 cases.” As of Thursday, 64.5 million people worldwide had contracted COVID-19, with 1,493,925 deaths, with 13.9 million cases in the United States and 273,836 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The United States has set a record as COVID-related hospitalizations surpassed 100,000 patients on Thursday, and medical professionals worry about an upcoming travel spike for Thanksgiving. Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm, a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board, told CBS: “What happened during Thanksgiving is a lot like a 160 km / h wind in a forest fire. .

Related: COVID-19 spread when 5 million people left Wuhan for Chinese New Year, but 50 million Americans will still travel on Thanksgiving

A mural of Dr Anthony Fauci by artist SacSix in New York’s East Village. Fauci, who grew up in Brooklyn, said he disagreed with New York and the decisions of four other states to independently review a vaccine that would bring it to market.

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Last week AstraZeneca AZN,
+ 0,77%
and the University of Oxford said their coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective when given as a half dose and then a full dose a month later. Efficacy drops to 62% when two full doses are given one month apart.

It was then revealed that the initial half-dose, considered the more effective option by the company than two full doses, was accidentally administered to the participants. They were also 55 or younger. This age group was not initially disclosed when AstraZeneca said the half and full dose were more effective. The cabinet defended these errors and an apparent lack of transparency.

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“I’m just so happy, of course, that we didn’t have Thanksgiving with my parents.
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– Governor Jared Polis (D., Colorado), 45, tested positive for coronavirus

“I’m not going to pretend it’s not an interesting result, because it is – but I certainly don’t understand it and I don’t think any of us do,” said Mene Pangalos, vice -executive chairman of AstraZeneca for biopharmaceutical R&D. .

Last month, BioNTech SE BNTX,
+ 6,21%
et Pfizer PFE,
+ 3,52%
announced progress in a vaccine and on Wednesday said a final analysis showed 95% effectiveness instead of 90%. Monday, Moderna MRNA,
+ 1,41%
said his vaccine candidate was 94.5% effective.

Johnson & Johnson JNJ,
+ 0,46%
; Merck & Co. MERK,
-0,62%
; GlaxoSmithKline GSK,
-0,32%
; and Sanofi SAN,
+ 4,57%
are also working on accelerated coronavirus vaccines. Moderna, Sanofi and AztraZeneca vaccines do not need to be kept at extremely low temperatures.

“I think these are really exciting results,” Dr. Andrew Pollard, chief investigator for the AztraZeneca trial, said at a press conference last week. “Because the vaccine can be stored at refrigerator temperature, it can be distributed worldwide using the normal immunization distribution system.” He said his goal was to produce a vaccine that was accessible everywhere: “I think we’ve succeeded in doing it.

Le Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
+ 0,20%
beat 30,000 last week on vaccine news and progress in the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden.

The DJIA and the S&P 500 Index SPX,
+ 0,17%
ended the day, supported by reports of the possibility of a compromise between lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle on a new COVID-related stimulus bill, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP,
-0,04%
lost ground on Wednesday.

The surge in cases, especially in the south and midwest, still weighs on investor concerns. If people look at the increase in cases and hospitalizations across the United States, Fauci said people were facing a situation “worse than the flare-ups we all saw in late winter, early on. of spring.

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