With the US currently on almost 3m coronavirus cases and 130,000 deaths, top infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci has again sounded the alarm, warning the US situation is “really not good” and “still knee-deep in the first wave” of the pandemic.
Speaking on a web chat with the director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, Dr Fauci said: “A series of circumstances associated with various states and cities trying to open up in the sense of getting back to some form of normality has led to a situation where we now have record-breaking cases.”
“We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this,” he added. “It was a surge or a resurgence of infections superimposed upon a baseline, Francis, that really never got down to where we wanted to go”.
Dr Fauci went on to compare the American situation unfavourable to the recovery seen by other nations.
“If you look at the graphs from Europe, Europe, the European Union as an entity, it went up and then came down to baseline. Now they’re having little blips, as you might expect, as they try to reopen,” he said. “We went up, never came down to baseline, and now we’re surging back up, so it’s a serious situation that we have to address immediately.”
Dr Fauci also urged young people not to assume they are invincible to the impacts of the virus and to practice responsible social distancing and good hygiene when they go to bars and other venues that risk furthering the spread.
“Young people should not feel that they’re invulnerable to serious consequences. The more we learn about this disease, Francis, the more we realise that many young people may not necessarily get sick enough to go to the hospital, but they can get very sick, put them out of action for weeks at a time,” he said.
As if to prove his point, Arizona reported yesterday that people aged under 44 account for 62,000 of the state’s 101,441 cases of the disease.
Arizona department of health director Dr Cara Christ said it’s those between ages 20 and 44 who can drive community spread.
The state continues to remain high in terms of positive tests and coronavirus hospitalisations. While the test positivity rate nationwide is around 9 per cent, Arizona’s is at around 13.4 per cent. The number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients on Sunday was 3,212, a new high according to state data. Hospital capacity statewide is currently around 89 per cent.
Here’s Alex Woodward with the latest headline development from the US leg of the global, as Miami is forced to re-close its restaurants due to the spiking infection rate.