On Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that he is not sure what Trump meant when he said earlier that evening that the country is “rounding the corner” on the coronavirus pandemic.
“There are certain states that are actually doing well in the sense of that the case numbers g down.” Fauci continued, experts remain concerned by a number of states, including Montana, Michigan, Minnesota and the Dakotas, that are starting to see an uptick in the percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive, an indication of spread of the virus.
Fauci said, “We want to make sure that all over the country, but particularly in the vulnerable states that are starting to show an uptick, that we abide by the public health mandates and rules we talk about all the time over the weekend and not, in essence, have the same type of surges that we have seen following other holiday weekends like the Fourth of July and memorial Day.”
The model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said that near-universal mask use could cut the number of projected additional fatalities by more than half.
Heading into Labor Day weekend, Fauci advised to wear masks, maintain social distance and avoid large crowds.
Trump said, “By the way, we are rounding the corner. We are rounding the corner on the virus.”
The exchanges marked another example of a top scientists and a member of the White House coronavirus task force publicly disputing the President’s claims about the virus, a dynamic that has played out nearly since the start of the pandemic.
Earlier Friday, a new model often cited by top health officials projected that more than 410,000 people in the US could die from the coronavirus by 1st January, more than doubling the current death toll.
Fauci said, “Of course its possible. If you do a lot of indoor activity and you don’t utilize masks to the utmost, you very likely will get to this number.”
But Fauci cast the projection as a “good heads up” of what could happen if Americans don’t take precautions, “Although the numbers a little scary, it may be a sort of a nudge for us to realize that we can do something to stop that.”