The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases explained that although the number of deaths and hospitalizations has been on a downturn, the lack of a decrease in new cases following the recent spike is troubling.
“The number that is disturbing is the number of cases each day when we had the big spike that we discussed so many times that went way up to two to three or more hundred thousand cases per day. Then it came back down. But now it’s plateaued at a disturbingly high level,” Fauci told CNN on Wednesday.
Fauci said the US is in “a race between getting people vaccinating and this surge.” He went on to cite Tuesday’s report of 63,000 new cases in the country in a single day, comparing it to the surge in cases Europe is seeing now, which the doctor called “alarming.”
“When you’re at that level, there is the risk of getting a surge back up,” the doctor said. “So the way we’re looking at it now, it’s almost a race between getting people vaccinated and this surge that seems to want to increase and do what’s going on. For example, in Europe, where they’re having some surges now that are really quite alarming.”
According to CNN, more than 109 million Americans have already received at least one dose of the vaccine, almost 33 percent of the population.
Fauci says the vaccination program is going very well, but people need to continue taking preventive measures, telling Americans to “hang in there a bit longer.”
“We’re vaccinating now between three and four million people per day,” Fauci said. “And the vaccination program is going on really very well. So, if we could just, as I’ve said so many times, hang in there a bit longer to get each day, more and more people by the millions are getting vaccinated to the point where we’ll have enough people vaccinated with a risk of that surge will diminish greatly.”
Fauci concluded, “Now’s not the time, as I’ve said so many times, to declare victory prematurely. We still have a considerable risk there that we need to get by.”