Fauci, Redfield testify on Covid-19 reopening

Recipe for disaster’ Fauci urges Americans to buckle down on coronavirus preventative measures

As of Monday morning, the US reported more than 2.5 million cases of COVID-19, with 125,808 deaths, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University.

"I can't make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing", Fauci replied.

Fauci said the daily increase in new cases nationwide, now around 40,000, could reach 100,000 unless a full nationwide effort was undertaken to tamp down the resurgent virus.

"We will carefully read the paper to understand what is new", World Health Organization spokesman Christian Lindmeier said in the email.

The United States government's top infectious diseases expert on Tuesday warned that daily COVID-19 cases could more than double if Americans fail to take countermeasures and cautioned against pinning hopes on a vaccine. "I made that point very clearly last week at a press conference".

"We saw visually in clips and in photographs of individuals in the community doing an all or none phenomenon, which is risky", he said.

The US reported a record number of new coronavirus cases in a single day on Friday, with 36 states reporting a rise in infections and Texas, Florida and Arizona particularly badly hit.

At Tuesday's hearing, Fauci initially declined to directly answer a question by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) about how many deaths and infections Americans should expect before the pandemic ends.

In an interview that aired Sunday as part of the Aspen Ideas Festival, Fauci said he would "settle" for a coronavirus vaccine that is between 70% and 75% effective, "because that would bring you to that level that would be herd immunity level".

"We're going in the wrong direction if you look at the curves of the new cases", Fauci said.

A spike in USA coronavirus infections is fueled in large part by people ignoring public health guidelines to keep their distance and wear masks, the government's top infectious disease official said.

But when asked by CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen whether the USA can get to herd immunity if 25% of the population refuses to get a coronavirus vaccine with that rate of effectiveness, Fauci said, "No, unlikely". "We're in the middle of catastrophic outbreak, and we really do need to be guided by scientific principles".

"I think there was a lot of wishful thinking around the country that, "hey it's summer".

President Trump, who refuses to wear a mask at public events and in the past has mocked his rivals for wearing them, has signalled he wants to move on from the coronavirus crisis and focus on his re-election campaign. "They should wear a mask".

Trump spent crucial weeks early on downplaying the threat posed by the virus in an effort to boost the stock market.

"I mean, for the Fourth of July, we could all show our patriotism with a red, white and blue mask, going out there and showing some strength", he said in an appearance on "Fox & Friends".

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