Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will attend the daily coronavirus briefing on April 9, 2020 in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, DC. Unemployment claims in the United States have approached 17 million in the past three weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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White House health advisor Anthony Fauci praised New York for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and said the state had responded "correctly" to control its outbreak.
"We know that if you do it right, you will bring these cases to a standstill. We did it. We did it in New York," said Fauci in an interview with PBS NewsHour that aired on Friday night.
"New York was hit worse than any other place in the world. And they did it right by doing the things you talk about," he continued.
New York was once the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States with more than 10,000 new cases a day during its highest outbreak in April. The state has drastically reduced daily new infections to 776 from Thursday.
New York is one of nine U.S. states where the virus is under control, according to the Covid Act Now tracking project. Less than 1% of New Yorkers tested for the virus were positive on Thursday, compared to a high of more than 40%.
Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced some of the country's strictest reopening requirements, insisting that home stay orders remain and many businesses remain closed much longer than countries that are currently experiencing growth, such as Texas and Florida. Since the pandemic began, more than 400,000 New Yorkers have been infected with the virus and at least 32,463 people have died in the state.
New York City is expected to enter Phase 4 on Monday, the next phase of the reopening that enables outdoor activities such as zoos, outdoor movies, and gardens. Indoor restaurants, bars, museums, and shopping centers remain closed, Cuomo said on Friday.
"I'm so proud of what the New Yorkers have done, but we still need to be on the alert," Cuomo tweeted.
Cuomo has warned of a possible second wave of coronavirus, as dozens of countries across the country are facing an increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus infections after they reopened rapidly in the spring. Florida reported more than 15,000 new infections last Sunday, more than New York at the peak of its outbreak.
In his comments on Friday, Fauci responded to the waves across the country, urged people to wear masks, and pushed for the closing of bars to limit the spread of the virus.
"Stay away from crowds. Close the bars," said Fauci. "They appeal to people in the area, close these bars. They are seriously the ones – one of the main reasons we see [the waves]."
"And I think if we do this for a couple of weeks in a row," he continued, "I think we will see a turnaround because we know that will work."
The outbreak of the coronavirus has spread worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 14 million confirmed cases and over 597,000 deaths. The United States had more than 3.6 million cases and at least 139,302 deaths, the latest figures, more than any other country.
– CNBC's Berkeley Lovelace contributed to this report.