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Why Dr. Fauci is worried about the recent uptick in new COVID-19 cases

Dr. Fauci recently explained why he’s worried about the recent plateau of COVID-19 cases

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, laughs while speaking in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, laughs while speaking in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington.

Alex Brandon, Associated Press

Dr. Anthony Fauci recently explained on the “Today” show why he’s worried about the recent plateau of COVID-19 cases in the United States.

Fauci said there are often rebounds in COVID-19 case numbers when you plateau and slowly inch up. He said the coronavirus variant discovered in the United Kingdom — also known as the B.1.1.7. — may also be to blame for a recent uptick.

  • “Thank goodness the vaccines that we have work very well against 117. … It is a race between the vaccine and the virus. Let’s get as many people vaccinated as quick as we possibly can.”

Fauci said pulling back on the mask mandates and restrictions will cause this sort of a bump, too.

“There are some states that are pulling back now, I believe more prematurely than they should, on the public health measures. … There is a risk that you are going to rebound.”

State of play

Per Axios, coronavirus case numbers remain steady as vaccinations continue. Some states have seen a slight uptick in cases while others have seen a decrease in cases. Overall, the country’s case numbers remain steady.

But any sort of plateau could be problematic, emergency physician Dr. Leana Wen told CNN. Wen said there might be a surge in COVID-19 cases soon.

  • “I think what helps this time though is that the most vulnerable — particularly nursing home residents, people who are older — are now vaccinated. And so we may prevent a spike in hospitalizations and deaths,” she told CNN.