Fauci made the comments in a virtual fireside chat during Johns Hopkins University’s Health Policy Forum, pre-recorded on October 15 but aired on Friday, October 16.
“You can’t enter in the cool months of the fall and the cold months of the winter with a high community infection baseline,” said Fauci. He again warned of a greater risk of coronavirus transmission when there are indoor gatherings of people without masks on.
Wisconsin and other states in the U.S. Midwest and beyond are battling surges in COVID-19 cases, with new infections and hospitalizations rising to record levels in an ominous sign of a nationwide resurgence as temperatures get colder.
Nine states, including Michigan and North Carolina, reported record one-day increases of new infections on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally. Michigan last set a record for new daily cases on April 3 in the early days of the pandemic in the United States.
ANTHONY FAUCI: –40 to 50,000. You can’t enter into the cool months of the fall and the cold months of the winter with a high community infection baseline. And looking at the map and seeing the heat map, how it lights up with test positivity that is in more than 30-plus states, is going in the wrong direction.
ELLEN MACKENZIE: I suspect many Thanksgivings are going to look a little bit different this year.
ANTHONY FAUCI: I think they will, Dean MacKenzie. I think people are going to have to make a choice of where they fit in the risk-benefit ratio of having someone come in maybe from out of town who’s been through a crowded airport to come into a home. Who do you have in the home? Are there vulnerable people? Are there the elderly? Are there people with underlying conditions? I think each family needs to think seriously about that and make a decision based on the level of risk that they want to put themselves through.
ELLEN MACKENZIE: Yep. Yep.