Coronavirus is not going to ease up and is in fact likely to worsen again in the fall and winter in the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday.
“I just think we need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy,” Fauci said in a talk with doctors from Harvard.
Fauci said that as fall approaches “and we do more indoor things, we’re likely going to see upticks in Covid-19.”
The US is still reporting about 36,000 Covid-19 cases a day right now, which is better than mid-August when the number was almost 80,000 a day. But it’s still too high, Fauci said.
“I keep looking at that curve, and I get more depressed about the fact that we never really get down to the baseline that I’d like,” he said.
Fauci predicted the US will continue to see coronavirus surges in some places.
“I don’t talk about second surges because we’re still in the first surge,” he said. “We’re going to see these surges that we’ve seen in the southern states, in the Midwest and now, if you look at the map, it’s Montana, North and South Dakota, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa. Those are the ones that are surging.”
Fauci said it’s hard to predict at this point how influenza may play into the pandemic this winter. He pointed to Australia’s mild flu season this year because of Covid-19 mitigation efforts such as mask-wearing and social distancing.
“What I would like to see is keeping the lid on, keeping the baseline down until we get a vaccine,” he said. Fauci, as he has said before, believes a coronavirus vaccine will be available by late this year or early in 2021.
“I think that’s going to be the thing that turns it around,” he said.