Skip to content

Dr. Fauci Says 'Careless' People Could Spark a Surge

The only way to avoid a “twindemic” is to decrease total infections significantly.

After the initial devastation of COVID-19 this winter and early spring, health experts hoped that the summer would provide some relief, following the same pattern as the annual cold and flu season. However, that didn't happen. Over June, July, and August, infections peaked in many parts of the country, raising the baseline of total infections. Now that we are about to endure a full cold and flu season in combination with coronavirus—something many are referring to as a "twindemic"—the nation's leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, is urging the importance of getting the highly infectious virus under control. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

"That's an Unacceptably High Baseline"

In an interview with CNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports, Dr. Fauci explained it is crucial to get down to baseline in order to minimize the wrath of the "twindemic."

"We're right around 40,000 new cases" a day, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases explained. According to Fauci, that number is overwhelmingly high. In fact, it needs to come down, way down. 

"That's an unacceptably high baseline," he continued. "We have got to get it down. I would like to see it 10,000 or less. Hopefully less." 

The biggest obstacle ahead of us this week? The annual end-of-summer holiday of Labor Day. 

"We know from prior experience that, when you get into holiday weekends — the Fourth of July, Memorial Day — there is a tendency of people to be careless somewhat with regard to the public health measures that we keep recommending over and over again," Fauci said.

While he still endorses having "an enjoyable weekend," he pleads with Americans to do their part and abide by the fundamentals of infectious disease control measures. "We really still need to get our arms around this, and to suppress the types of surges that we have seen," he said. The fundamentals? Wear masks, keep physically distant, avoid crowds, spend time outside more than inside, and wash hands.

"Those types of simple things can clearly prevent the types of surges we have seen following holiday weekends like we are entering into now with Labor Day. 

Herd Immunity is Not a "Strategy That We're Using"

Fauci also touched upon the concept of herd immunity, something that is reportedly being promoted by Dr. Scott Atlas, who Donald Trump recently appointed as Health Advisor. 

"We're not there yet. That's not a fundamental strategy that we're using," Fauci said when asked about the tactic, which involves allowing people to become infected with the virus in order to build widespread immunity. 

"The fundamental strategy that we clearly articulate and go by through the [White House coronavirus] task force is to try to prevent as many infections as you possibly can prevent," he clarified. 

In fact, Fauci is "not so sure" what the talk about herd immunity is "all about." 

"We certainly are not wanting to wait back and just let people get infected so that you can develop herd immunity. That's certainly not my approach," he said. "It's certainly not White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. [Deborah] Birx's approach or any of the other people that I know of on that task force." As for yourself: to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, once again don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more about Leah
Filed Under