If no action is taken, the United States risks reaching 100,000 daily cases of coronavirus, a figure well above the current 40,000, the main epidemiologist of the US Government, Anthony Fauci, warned on Tuesday.
“We are now having about 40,000 or more cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not change. I am very concerned,” said Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Infectious Diseases and Allergies, during a hearing in the Senate.
Fauci did not estimate the number of deaths, despite Senator Elizabeth Warren’s questions, but he did say, “I think it is important that I communicate to you and the rest of the American people that I am very concerned, because this may get really bad. “
THE US GOES IN THE “WRONG DIRECTION”
The epidemiologist considered that the US is going in the “wrong direction” and warned that “there are no guarantees” that there will be an “effective and safe vaccine” against COVID-19, so he urged the Americans to wear face masks and avoid crowds.
Fauci’s warnings come just before the weekend of the July 4 holiday, US Independence Day, and on which Americans traditionally take the opportunity to go to the beach and gather for a barbecue while see the fireworks.
Some authorities, such as those of Los Angeles County, have ordered the beaches to be closed due to the increase in cases in that area; but, for example, Brevard County (Florida) plans to keep them open.
In recent weeks, the focus of the pandemic in the U.S. has shifted from the east to the southern and western states.
According to The New York Times database, the number of cases has grown 80% in the last two weeks, especially in the south and west, where some cities such as Houston (Texas) are recording daily records and hospitals are near collapse.
16 STATES BACKWARDS ON REOPENING
As a result, at least 16 of the 50 US states have had to back down on their reopening plans entirely or at least in the counties with the most infections.
Alabama, where cases have increased 25% in recent weeks, was one of the last states to take action: On Tuesday, its governor, the Republican Kay Ivey, announced that it would extend the isolation measures until July 31, which were to expire this Friday.
However, the governor did not order the closing of restaurants, stores and cinemas, something that the governor of Arizona, Republican Doug Ducey, did on Monday night.
Arizona, where 4,600 new cases have been registered in the last two days, is one of the states with the highest rebound along with Texas, Florida and California.
Specifically, California already accumulates 220,000 infections and the number of hospitalizations has risen 43% in the last two weeks, which is why the governor of that state, the Democrat Gavin Newsom, asked Monday that seven counties close their bars, including the one containing the city of Los Angeles.
QUARANTINE FOR TRAVELERS WITHIN THE USA
Faced with the increase in cases in the southern and western United States, the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts announced Tuesday that travelers from California and other states with high numbers of infections will have to keep a 14-day mandatory quarantine.
“As an increasing number of states across the country struggle with a major spread of the virus among their communities, New York is taking steps to maintain security during its data-based, gradual reopening,” he said at a conference call. of the press the New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo.
At the start of the pandemic, the virus hit states in the eastern United States, such as New York, which recorded 10,000 cases a day; but in recent weeks these states have managed to stop the virus from advancing with measures of social distancing.
In the U.S., more than 126,500 people have died and 2.6 million have been infected with the virus, according to an independent count by Johns Hopkins University.
Beatriz Pascual Macías