According to Fauci, Christmas and New Year restrictions will be needed

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases, is wearing a protective mask at a press conference at the White House in Washington on Thursday, November 19, 2020.

Chris Kleponis | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said on Sunday that the United States is in a difficult period of the coronavirus epidemic and said current restrictions and travel advice will be needed for the Christmas holidays.

“Unfortunately, we expect that in the next few weeks, in December, it may be that we put the wave on top of the already existing wave,” Fauci said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I don’t want to scare people, I’m just saying it’s not too late to do something about it.”

Fauci urged Americans to be careful when returning from Thanksgiving festive trips and wearing masks to ease the spread of the virus. While the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control warned people to travel on Thanksgiving in November, more than 9 million people traveled at airports the week before and after the holiday.

“I think as a nation, as a state, as a city and as a family, we have to make decisions that we are in a very difficult time and make the kind of restrictions we wanted to be ready, especially this holiday season, because we are really in a precarious situation.” said Facui.

According to John Hopkins University, America has exceeded 13 million Covid-19 cases and at least 266,000 people have died. As cases and deaths increase across the country, hospitals are struggling with a lack of medical staff and capacity problems amid an influx of patients.

According to Fauci, Americans need to take their own virus-reducing steps to help overloaded hospital systems.

Disease experts predict the country’s daily mortality rate will increase this winter. In November alone, the U.S. had more than 4 million new cases, more than doubling the record set in October, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Mortality and hospitalization rise a few weeks after seizures in new cases.

Adviser Brett Giroir, deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said on Sunday he was worried about the surge in cases and increased travel for hospital care.

Giroir, who is leading the government’s Covid-19 testing efforts, told CNN in an interview he couldn’t give a forecast of daily deaths, but “a lot depends on this weekend,” given the U.S. big spikes and deaths.

Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said on Sunday that the United States has far more cases, hospitalizations and daily deaths nationwide in the days following Thanksgiving than it does in the days following Memorial Day weekend. the country has previously experienced a virus recovery.

“We saw what happened after Memorial Day. Now we are deeply concerned about what might happen after Thanksgiving because the number of cases – 25,000 versus 180,000 a day – is why we are very worried,” Birx said in an interview with CBS News.

“We know people made mistakes during Thanksgiving,” Birx said. “If you’re young and gathered, you need to be examined about five to ten days later, but you have to assume you’re infected and don’t go near your grandparents, aunts, and others without a mask.”

The growing epidemic comes when health and government officials plan to distribute the first round of vaccinations in December and health workers will be among the first.

Giroir said the U.S. is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in improving rapid testing and “overflowing overflow tests in ten different states.” He said the government is working to ask for more home tests for widespread distribution, but these are not yet available.

“We’d love to get hundreds of millions of such tests,” Giroir said, adding that they could become available in the next few months.

Americans seeking to test for a coronavirus face long queues and waiting times that can last for hours at some emergency care sites as the need for rapid tests grows.

Dr. Jeffrey Le Benger, head of the CityMD summit, told CNBC on Friday that these long lines could continue until 2021 as he expects demand to remain high during the holiday season.