During an interview this week, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, urged Americans to follow health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, as this weekend will affect how the virus spreads in the upcoming fall and winter seasons.
Speaking with MSNBC on Wednesday, the esteemed immunologist said that if the virus spikes following this weekend, concerns would be intensified into the winter months, when the nation will need to contend with the flu on top of the virus.
He said there are roughly 40,000 new cases per day in the United States and that number needs to be below 10,000 daily.
“We know from prior experience as you get into the holiday weekend, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day, there’s a tendency of people to be careless somewhat with regard to the public health measures,” Fauci said during the interview with the news outlet. “I want to use this opportunity to almost have a plea to the people in this country to realize that we really still need to get our arms around this and to suppress these types of surges we’ve seen.”
This summer, new cases had fallen steadily toward the end of May, but then spikes were reported after the Memorial Day weekend, according to data from Johns Hopkins and multiple reports.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Aaron Glatt, chief of infectious diseases at Mount Sinai South Nassau in New York, agreed that people need to be cautious as the Labor Day weekend begins.
“Many times community outbreaks were due to large super-spreader events – which improper Labor Day gatherings and relaxation of our vigilance regarding masking and distancing could, heaven forbid, trigger,” he told Fox News.
“Unfortunately, our collective public memory as a community is poor. People need to think back and remember how horrific the pandemic was in March and April, how many lives were shattered and destroyed.”
Health experts and U.S. health officials fear the pandemic in the U.S. could get worse as people start to spend more time indoors with the cooler months ahead. “We really still need to get our arms around this and to suppress these types of surges we’ve seen,” Fauci said during his interview with MSNBC.
Fauci said Americans can still enjoy their holiday weekend but pleaded that they follow typical safety guidelines in preventing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, such as wearing masks, maintaining social distance, washing hands, avoiding crowds and holding outdoor events rather than indoor ones.