Dr. Anthony Fauci, US’ top infectious disease expert, has issued a stark warning predicting a serious new surge in COVID-19 ceases in some states of the country. The doctor along with a panel of key health officials announced that the next few days will be crucial to stop the new wave of infections as cases are increasing rapidly in the country. The four Trump aides on Corona also confirmed that they were never ordered by Trump to put a cut on screening. Their comments came after Mr. Trump’s address at a weekend rally in Oklahoma where he jokingly said that he has told his team to slow down the testing in order put a lid on the number of new cases.
“To my knowledge, none of us have ever been told to slow down to testing,” Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified to a congressional committee investigating the United States response to the novel coronavirus in person on Tuesday.
“In fact, we will be doing more testing,” he added.
The other three officials from CDC, FDA and Department of Health and Human Services contradicted Trump’s remarks, testifying they had never been asked to lower the testing rate. Brett Giroir, the health department assistant secretary who leads us diagnostic capacity, briefing the lawmakers said he expects the United States will increase its capacity to 40 to 50mn tests per month by autumn.
The WH explaining the statement made by President said the comments about slowing the pace of testing were recorded “in jest. But on Tuesday the President contradicted his on team by telling reporters: “I don’t kid.”
Nearly 2.3mn Americans have been tested positive for COVID-19 and at least 120,000 have died of the deadly virus registering the highest number of fatalities in the world.
The President Trump in a campaign event in Phoenix, AZ later in the day claimed, COVID-19 “plague” was “going away”. The Republican premier once again termed the infection as “kung flu”, a reference White House denies as racist. Trump on Tuesday was addressing a megachurch in Arizona which recorded a new daily record of new COVID-19 cases only hours before the President arrived. Health officials in the state have reported 80% of hospital beds are currently filled and the overburdened healthcare system may collapse in the coming days or weeks in case of a new wave.
Dr. Fauci once again cautioned “a disturbing surge of infection” and emerging of new clusters in community in many western and southern states.
“A couple of days ago there were 30,000 new infections” in a single day. That’s very troubling to me. The next couple of weeks are going to be critical to address those surges that we are seeing in Texas, Florida, Arizona and other states.”
Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield called testing “a critical underpinning of our response”, but maintained that social distancing practice is more helpful to stem the new outbreaks. Dr. Redfield also called on All Americans to get inoculated for flu this year, saying the public must “embrace flu vaccinations with confidence”.
“This single act will save lives,” he added.
Dr. Fauci added that he is “cautiously optimistic” a vaccine may be available by the end of this year. He said it is a mater of “when and not if” the vaccine is ready, but also admitted that it “might take some time”.
Drug company Moderna has plans “to launch a Phase 3 clinical trial as early as July 2020, pending positive results from this Phase 2 trial”, he added.
Director of the National institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases also defended his decision of not warning the American public to put masks on their faces earlier citing it was the shortage of the PPE’s that stopped him as healthcare staffers needed them more than anybody. Several cities and counties have issues new mask advisories over the past week.
“Plan A: Don’t got in a crowd. Plan B: If you do, make sure you wear a mask,” Dr. Fauci told the congressional committee monitoring the US response to the Pandemic.
The infection count in more than half of the states in the country is increasing. Texas, Arizona and Nevada have witnessed the single-day records for new confirmed cases while California, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana and Utah have seen a disturbing increase in caseload. Florida on Monday went past 100,000 cases. Texas has temporarily cancelled alcohol licenses of some businesses for not following the SOPs. Washington last week recorded 35% increase in infections prompting the governor of the north-west state to order residents to make sure the wearing of masks in public.