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Dr. Fauci Says What's 'So Disturbing Right Now' About COVID

"We've got to do better," he says.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious-disease expert, sat down with basketball star Steph Curry for an interview about coronavirus released Tuesday. The two men have more in common than it might seem—Fauci was a high school basketball player, and Curry has demonstrated a serious handle on current affairs in his State of Inspiration YouTube series.

Early on, Curry asked Fauci about what he considered the high and low point of the government's response to coronavirus. "The thing that is so disturbing right now, we have the most deaths of any country," said Fauci. "We're a powerful country and we're a rich country. And the situation we're in right now with 200,000 deaths and around 7 million infections, we've got to do better than that." Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

Cases "unacceptably high"

Fauci called the nation's daily baseline of new COVID cases "unacceptably high." It was around 40,000 last week. On Oct. 22, the number of new cases was 75,049, a 32% increase from two weeks before.

"That's particularly relevant because as we go into the fall and the winter season, when you're dealing with a respiratory-borne virus, it is always better to be outdoors versus indoors," said Fauci. "When the weather changes in the vast, overwhelming majority of our country, we're going to be spending more time indoors, which is going to make it much more problematic to prevent the spread and the acquisition of a respiratory-borne virus like coronavirus." 

Fauci said something the U.S. government did right earlier in the pandemic was "the decision to block off travel into the country from countries that were really hot," in terms of infection levels, "like China and certain parts of Europe, particularly Northern Europe and Italy, but then ultimately all of Europe to prevent the influx."

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Simple Health Measures

On the prevention tip, Fauci reiterated what he called "simple health measures" that have been shown to slow the spread of coronavirus: wear a mask, keep a physical distance, avoid crowds, socialize outdoors more than indoors, and wash your hands.

"You want to go into the fall and the winter in the best possible position," said Fauci. "You don't want to go in where you have 40,000 cases a day as the community-spread level. You want the community-spread level to be very low, so you could deal with little surges. You want to go in with your best game as you go into the winter."

That is not the case. This week, 14 states set records for coronavirus hospitalizations, while nationwide, new daily COVID cases hit their highest level since the summer. The Midwest has been particularly hard hit: Wisconsin has established a COVID field hospital, while North Dakota has the most cases per capita in the country.

RELATED: This is the #1 Way You'll Get COVID, According to Doctors

How to stay healthy

As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more about Michael