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Dr. Fauci reveals how many COVID-19 cases make him feel ‘comfortable’

Dr. Fauci said the US has too many COVID-19 cases right now.

Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks to Congress.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, listens during a Senate Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 Capitol Hill in Washington on Sept. 23, 2020. Fauci said the U.S. has too many COVID-19 cases right now.
Graeme Jennings, Associated Press

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the U.S. has too many COVID-19 cases right now. But he revealed how many COVID-19 cases would make things feel more comfortable in the U.S.

Fauci recently told Axios that Americans are getting infected with COVID-19 at 10 times the rate needed to put an end to the pandemic.

  • “The endgame is to suppress the virus. Right now, we’re still in pandemic mode, because we have 160,000 new infections a day. That’s not even modestly good control ... which means it’s a public health threat,” he said.
  • “In a country of our size, you can’t be hanging around and having 100,000 infections a day. You’ve got to get well below 10,000 before you start feeling comfortable,” Fauci told Axios.

Once the U.S. reaches a comfortable number, “you’ll still get some people getting infected, but you’re not going to have it as a public health threat,” Fauci told Axios.

At the end of August, a forecasting model from the University of Washington predicted that about 100,000 people could die from the novel coronavirus by December, per The Associated Press. That’s on top of the 653,000 people in the U.S. who have died from COVID-19 already.

But Fauci told CNN that this does not need to happen, especially with the COVID-19 vaccine available.

  • “What is going on now is both entirely predictable, but entirely preventable,” Fauci told CNN. “We know we have the wherewithal with vaccines to turn this around.”
  • “We could do it efficiently and quickly if we just get those people vaccinated. That’s why it’s so important now, in this crisis that we’re in that people put aside any ideologic, political or other differences, and just get vaccinated,” he told CNN.