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Dr. Fauci Just Issued This "Surge" Warning

The infectious disease expert says “we still have a problem.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

On the surface, there is some good news coming out of the coronavirus pandemic: cases and hospitalizations are slowly going down, instead of up. And the death rate should follow. However, with 68 million adults still left unvaccinated, and others confused about when to get their boosters, "we're not out of danger," in the words of one expert. With this in mind, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert, appeared on ABC News Live and issued a reality check—as well as instructions on how to stay safe during the holidays. Read on for five life-saving points—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Dr. Fauci Said We Are Seeing a "Turnaround" But Said We "Still Have a Problem in This Country" and Could Face New Surge

Man is lying on bed amidst essential workers.

There is some good news on the horizon. "Certainly we are seeing a turnaround, both in hospitalization and cases," said Dr. Fauci. "The deaths are still up, but that usually is a lagging indicator, and very likely will start coming down together with the diminution in the cases and in the hospitalization. That's a very good sign, but I believe you have to realize that we still have a problem in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who have not yet been vaccinated. So what happens as we get into the winter months, it is going to depend a lot on ourselves upon what we do, if we can get, uh, I would say an overwhelming majority of those individuals who have not yet gotten vaccinated, we can make it much more likely that that slope will continue to go down and stay down, which means we could say a diminution to the point of getting out of this pandemic phase that we're in. I hope that that's what happens. It looks like it's heading in that direction, but in order to avoid any subsequent surges, it would very important to get a lot more people vaccinated."

"We're not out of danger," Ali Mokdad, a University of Washington epidemiologist who is a former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientist, told the New York Times. "This virus is too opportunistic and has taught us one lesson after another." Read on to see what you should do on Halloween and the Winter Holidays.

RELATED: If You Got Moderna or J&J, Dr. Fauci Says Here's the Latest on Boosters


Dr. Fauci Said This About Halloween

Happy family celebrating Halloween

Dr. Fauci was asked if we can celebrate Halloween safely. "Every time you make a statement about that, someone says, you're the Grinch that takes away the pleasure," said Fauci, who was accused by Fox News just this weekend of "cancelling Christmas" when he said it was too early to tell what the pandemic would be like come December. "There is no doubt that—just wait until tonight on Fox News," he said with a rueful chuckle. "But the fact is that you've really gotta be careful and that when you're outdoors, it's always safer than indoors. So rather than congregate in groups, when you're in a situation where there is congregate, you wear a mask, whether you're outdoor or indoor. You can have a lot of fun on Halloween and still be safe. So we don't want to take the joy away from Halloween, from the children, but you want to make sure that you appreciate that you are still in a situation where the dynamics of infection are really quite high. We still, as I mentioned, if you look throughout the country, even though the number of cases are coming down, they are not low enough for us to feel really, quite comfortable. So have a good time wear a mask. If you're unsure, stay with people who you know, and who, you know, what their status is, go with your family and enjoy the Halloween."

RELATED: When You Get Your Booster, Here Are 5 Things To Know


Dr. Fauci Said This About the Winter Holidays

Thanksgiving Celebration Tradition Family Dinner

"Families should plan on enjoying things in the family setting without a doubt, particularly among vaccinated individuals," said Dr. Fauci. "If you're vaccinated and members of your family, and you are within your household with people, you want to try as best as you can. If people are not vaccinated, not to mix with people who you don't know what their status is, but for the family core being together, enjoying Thanksgiving and enjoy Christmas, of course you can do that. One thing you can say, the more people that get vaccinated, the more people that can safely do that."

RELATED: If You Got Moderna or J&J, Here's When Your Boosters May Come


Dr. Fauci Said He Expects Mandates to Expand

Check-in for coronavirus vaccination against Covid-19 with doctor in the background.

"What I believe you're going to see is, I don't think you're going to see a total central mandate from the federal government to everyone, but you're going to see, I'll almost guarantee it, that a local enterprises, local organizations, local universities and colleges are going to continue to expand this whole process of mandating," said Dr. Fauci. "No one likes to be told what they have to do, but these are unusual times. In fact, these are unprecedented times, at least within the last hundred plus years, we have—700,000 Americans have died. So there comes a time when there are things for the common community and the common social good that you've got to pull back and just not insist on what you consider is your own individual choice for things that comes a time when unusual times lead to unusual ways of implementing things are well-established to be of importance from a cup, from a public health standpoint."

RELATED: If You Live Here, COVID is Spreading Fast, Experts Warn


Dr. Fauci Said He Doesn't Think Too Many People Will Quit Their Jobs Over Mandates

Woman is presenting COVID vaccination card.

"What you're seeing is important, many people were saying, well, if you mandate, people are going to quit, they're not there. I mean, people in that, they're not that set against being vaccinated, that they're willing to give up their jobs. And as people get vaccinated to the point of the numbers, you've shown the 96% of more complying with the mandate to get vaccinated. That's going to be a very, very important step in the direction of ending this pandemic. And I think when people look back on this, they're going to say, you know, mandates worked, they saved a lot of lives, and they've got us out of this more quickly than we otherwise would have gotten out from it." So get vaccinated, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek