Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases.
(Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool / Getty Images)
The US reports an "extremely high and fairly unacceptable" daily number of Covid-19 cases ahead of the winter season, when people spend more time indoors and threaten to spread the virus even further, the white man's coronavirus advisor said House, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The US reported a record 88,521 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, continuing its climb to the third peak of the pandemic. Although some have dubbed the recent surge in cases a "third wave", Fauci said the country is still grappling with its original wave of coronavirus infections.
When the outbreak, which originally hit New York and the northeast, waned in the spring, the American sun belt states reported swelling outbreaks and infections again in the summer, Fauci told SiriusXM's Doctor Radio Reports in an interview that aired on Friday. The country has never been able to report an average of less than 20,000 Covid-19 cases a day like other parts of the world, Fauci said.
"We never got out of the real wave. We went up and down within a wave," said Fauci. "When I hear people talking about the second and third waves, it's really the original wave that just goes up, goes down a little, and goes up again."
Unlike previous outbreaks the nation has faced so far, the recent surge appears to be spreading to almost every corner of the country. According to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, Covid-19 cases grew 5% or more in 45 states for the week starting Thursday.
The positivity rate, or percentage of positive tests, increases in over 30 states, and about 13 states are in the "red zone," meaning they have a positivity rate of over 10%, Fauci said. A high positivity rate is a sign that "there are more infections out there that we don't flip," said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC on Friday.
"This is something you wish you didn't have when you step into the colder months, because of the necessity to do a lot more indoor things because of the weather," Fauci said.
On Friday, the US exceeded 9 million Covid-19 cases reported since the pandemic began, adding another 1 million cases since mid-October alone, according to Hopkins.
"We're in a precarious position for the next weeks to months," Fauci said, urging people to continue wearing face masks, social distancing, and spending as much time outdoors as possible.