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Fauci Calls Situation ‘Quite Precarious,’ Tamps Down Vaccine Expectations

KEY POINTS

  • Fauci said the nation is “at the highest baseline” after officials reported more than 80,000 new cases in a single day two days in a row
  • The top health official expressed optimism over the ongoing coronavirus vaccine trials
  • A potential vaccine would likely only prevent symptomatic cases of coronavirus

The coronavirus situation in the U.S.  is “quite precarious” amid a resurgence of new cases across multiple states, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, on Monday.

The U.S. is “at the highest baseline” it has ever been during the pandemic after health officials recorded more than 80,000 new coronavirus cases on both Friday and Saturday, Fauci said. The previous single-day record of 74,818 cases was set in July. 

“We came back up again to the worst that we’ve ever had, which was over 80,000 per day,” Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious, said. “It’s been up and wavering up and down till now, we’re at the highest baseline we’ve ever been, which is really quite precarious.”

Fauci expressed optimism over the results from various ongoing coronavirus vaccine trials. He said results should be available at the end of November or the beginning of December. However, he noted that a vaccine would not eradicate the virus. Instead, it would only decrease a person’s chances of having symptoms.  

“The primary thing you want to do is that if people get infected, prevent them from getting sick, and if you prevent them from getting sick, you will ultimately prevent them from getting seriously ill,” Fauci said. 

The infectious disease expert also emphasized the importance of observing preventive measures, including wearing face masks, avoiding large gatherings, social distancing, and frequent handwashing, Business Insider reported. 

“We can do this. I’m absolutely convinced that as a nation, if we pull together and do some fundamental common-denominator public-health measures, that we can get through this with a lot of help in the future from vaccines and adequate therapies,” he said. 

American health officials have reported nearly 8.7 million coronavirus cases since the pandemic began. The number of cases recorded globally is also inching closer to 43.5 million. More than 225,000 people in the country have died due to COVID-19. 

The U.S. continues to have the highest number of reported coronavirus cases worldwide. It is followed by India, which has recorded 7.9 million cases, Brazil with 5.4 million cases, and Russia with 1.5 million COVID-19 cases, Johns Hopkins University reported.    Fauci said the government would not make any future COVID-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public Fauci said the government would not make any future COVID-19 vaccine obligatory for the general public Photo: POOL / Al Drago

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