Dr. Fauci to warn of 'needless suffering and death' during congressional testimony on 'the danger of trying to open the country prematurely'
Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said he plans to warn the Senate about the "danger of trying to reopen the country prematurely," he told The New York Times in an email. Fauci is set to testify before the Senate Health Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on Tuesday in his first appearance before Congress since Trump declared a national emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. "If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: 'Open America Again,' then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country," Fauci wrote in the email. "This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal." In mid-April, the White House revealed its "Opening Up America Again" plan, a three-phase roadmap for states to relax their stay-at-home orders. Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security also released four criteria to guide governors in deciding when to reopen their economies. However, a JHU researcher asserted before Congress earlier this week that no state that is starting to lift their lockdowns had met the criteria. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Infectious disease expert and member of the White House coronavirus task force Anthony Fauci said he plans to issue a stark warning before the Senate on the "danger of trying to open up the country prematurely," The New York Times reported. In his first appearance before Congress since President Donald Trump declared a national emergency, Fauci is set to testify before the Senate Committee on Health Education, Labor, and Pensions on Tuesday. The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases wrote in an email to The Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg that he intends to convey to the Senate committee the "danger" of opening up the country without following the White House's "Opening Up America Again" guidelines. "If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: 'Open America Again,' then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country," Fauci wrote in the email. "This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal." The White House released its roadmap to 'opening up' again in mid-April, which includes a three-pronged plan for states to relax their stay-at-home orders and relies heavily on increased testing and mass contact tracing. "Even if you are in phase one, two, three, it's not, OK, game over — it's going to be a way that we protect ourselves," Fauci said during the press conference announcing the White House's reopening plan. After federal guidelines on social distancing expired on April 30, some states have been looking to ease their lockdowns and reopen their economies. However, a Johns Hopkins researcher told Congress last week that no state has met the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security criteria to reopen safely during her congressional testimony. The JHU guidance, comprised of four criteria, was meant to help governors decide if they can reopen their state safely. However, Caitlin Rivers asserted that no state has met them. "It is clear to me that we are in a critical moment in this fight," she said. "We risk complacency in accepting the preventable deaths of 2,000 Americans each day. We risk complacency in accepting that our healthcare workers do not have what they need to do their jobs safely. And we risk complacency in recognizing that without continued vigilance in slowing transmission, we will again create the conditions that led to us being the worst-affected country in the world." With states still opening up without meeting reopening guidance, experts are saying that there could be a second wave of coronavirus cases in the fall or even sooner. "We're not reopening based on science," Dr. Thomas Frieden, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told The Times. "We're reopening based on politics, ideology, and public pressure. And I think it's going to end badly."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly
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As the US sees record-high surges in coronavirus cases, the White House is seeking to undercut...As the US sees record-high surges in coronavirus cases, the White House is seeking to undercut the country's top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has criticized the US response to the virus. White House trade advisor Peter Navarro penned an op-ed for USA Today Tuesday attacking Fauci and saying the infectious disease expert "has been wrong about everything" — from mask wearing to using hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment. As a director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Fauci has offered science-based advice to Americans amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, which has at times been opposed by individuals in the White House. While the White House has urged states to reopen their economies amid the pandemic, Fauci has painted a much darker picture of the reality of the virus, calling it his "worst nightmare." Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Anti-China trade adviser has become the face of the White House's criticism of the country's top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci. White House trade advisor Peter Navarro penned an op-ed for USA Today Tuesday attacking Fauci, who serves on the White House coronavirus task force. The op-ed largely repeats what Navarro has previously said to other publications. Navarro, who has no public health expertise, wrote that Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, "has been wrong about everything," claiming the White House and public health officials have been at odds over a number of issues, including stopping flights from China at the end of January. Navarro also said Fauci was "flip-flopping" on his use of face masks to mitigate the spread of the virus. Fauci had explained that he discouraged the use of face masks at the beginning of the pandemic to reserve the little supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the national stockpile at the time for healthcare professionals at the frontlines. Though he believes that face masks won't completely prevent transmission, Fauci now encourages the use of face masks — at the very least, cloth facial coverings — to contain viral particles that could be present in an individual's saliva, adding that social distancing is paramount to impede infection. The infectious disease expert remains optimistic about the timeline of a coronavirus vaccine within the coming year, though he has cautioned people against relying on hydroxychloroquine — an anti-malaria drug — as a coronavirus treatment given a lack of sufficient evidence of its effectiveness. In the op-ed, Navarro claimed he showed Fauci "scientific studies providing evidence of safety and efficacy," despite a number of health experts saying it is still too soon to tell if the drug can safely treat the coronavirus. President Donald Trump also supported hydroxychloroquine as a treatment, even so far as to take it himself as a "preventative measure." Coronavirus whistleblower and vaccine scientist Dr. Rick Bright also discouraged the use of hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment. He claimed in his whistleblower complaint that he was ousted from his top position at the Department of Health and Human Services because he refused to tout the drug as a treatment. Now, as the US sees record-high surges in coronavirus cases, the White House has encouraged states to reopen without a comprehensive coronavirus testing and contact tracing infrastructure — a vital component to reopening the country safely, according to health experts. Though seemingly unphased by the rising cases, as Trump referred to the rising cases as "embers" to be stamped out, Fauci has painted a much darker picture, calling the current situation of the pandemic his "worst nightmare." "Now we have something that turned out to be my worst nightmare," he said. "In the period of four months, it has devastated the world." Trump has attempted to assure Americans that the US by reiterating the low mortality rate of the virus. "Now we have tested almost 40 million people. By so doing, we show cases, 99% of which are totally harmless," Trump said. "Results that no other country can show because no other country has the testing that we have, not in terms of the numbers or in terms of quality." Navarro echoed the point in his op-ed, calling the lower mortality rate "the single most important statistic to help guide the pace of our economic reopening." "The lower the mortality rate, the faster and more we can open," he wrote. In stark contrast, the infectious disease expert said that taking "comfort" in the lower death rate could promote a "false narrative" on the development of the pandemic. "There's so many other things that are very dangerous and very bad about this virus," Fauci said. "Don't get yourself into false complacency."SEE ALSO: Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro claimed Fauci is 'wrong about everything,' as the White House seeks to discredit him on COVID-19 Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: July 15 is Tax Day — here's what it's like to do your own taxes for the very first time
US daily coronavirus cases have hit record highs 5 times in the last 12 days — this interactive chart tracks new cases each day
The US has broken records for daily coronavirus case counts five times in the last 12...The US has broken records for daily coronavirus case counts five times in the last 12 days. Deaths have not surged, however, possibly because the virus is mostly spreading among young people. COVID-19 progresses over weeks, though, so death tolls may still start climbing. Although various databases offer differing daily US case counts, they tell the same story overall: Cases skyrocketed after states reopened. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. In April, it would have been hard to imagine that 36,000 new coronavirus infections in a day — the top of the US's first peak — could ever be seen in a positive light. But after the last two weeks, such a sum would be a relief — it would represent a significant drop from where we are now. After daily case counts began to creep up again in mid-June, new infections reached a record high on June 25, when more than 39,000 cases were reported. The next day, the country exceeded 45,000 cases, breaking the prior record. Then it happened again, and again. In the last 12 days, the US has set a new record on five occasions. The latest peak was 54,461 new cases on July 2, according to a Johns Hopkins University database. The seven-day rolling average of daily case counts, of course, has grown, too. The chart below shows how it has changed over time, along with the seven-day rolling average for deaths. The primary reason for this spike is exactly what public-health experts warned of a couple months ago. When states started reopening businesses and lifting shelter-in-place orders in late April and early May, many did not meet the White House criteria for doing so safely. The guidelines instructed states to see either a two-week decline in cases or a two-week decline in the share of coronavirus tests coming back positive before they reopened. But 21 states started reopening around May 7 without seeing those trends, according to the New York Times. As of Tuesday, daily case counts are rising in at least 39 states. In the last couple of weeks, many governors and mayors began pausing or backtracking those reopenings. Daily death counts are not surging, however Deaths have not spiked nationwide alongside cases. This may be because the virus is mostly spreading among young people, who have gone out to bars and social events amid the reopenings. Those in younger age groups are less likely to die from a coronavirus infection. However, it takes time to die from the coronavirus, so death tolls tend to lag behind case counts by three to four weeks. That means deaths may still begin to rise across the country. In places like Texas and Arizona, that has already begun. A precursor to deaths — hospitalizations — is currently on the rise in many states with the worst surges. Alabama, California, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas all reported record-breaking hospitalization rates this week, according to The Washington Post. COVID-19 databases tell slightly different versions of the same story Different organizations use their own methods to track coronavirus cases across the US, which yield different results. Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that there have been four record-setting days since June 25 (not five) though a higher record of daily cases: 57,718 new cases on July 3. The New York Times' tracker places the record high at 56,567 cases on July 3. The COVID Tracking Project, meanwhile, reported a record 57,562 new cases that same day. The CDC recorded a much higher, earlier spring peak than the other databases, logging 43,438 new cases on April 6. Johns Hopkins recorded a spring peak of 36,291 new cases on April 24. This discrepancy could come from different case-tracking methods. Johns Hopkins and other databases update their numbers in real time, as states and counties publish new data. The CDC, however, counts new cases on the date that states submit them to the agency. Its website recommends deferring to local health departments if there is a mismatch between their data and the CDC's, since it "may be due to the timing of the reporting and website updates." Still, all these databases show cases rising rapidly in Texas, Arizona, Florida, and many other states. The overarching trend in the numbers is the same, even if the specifics differ. "I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 [cases] a day if this does not turn around, and so I am very concerned," Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the Senate on June 30, adding, "it could get very bad." Emergency rooms and intensive-care units across the US are already showing signs of strain. The mayors of Houston and Austin have warned they have just two weeks until their hospitals start hitting capacity. In Florida, Miami-Dade county hospitals could max out by August, according to local news site WPLG. To prevent further spread, Fauci has recommended mandating face masks and keeping indoor bars closed. He has also emphasized that young, healthy people should continue taking precautions, since they could still fall seriously ill or spread the virus to more vulnerable people. "We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this," Fauci said on Monday. "We went up, never came down to baseline, and now it's surging back up. So it's a serious situation that we have to address immediately."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Here's what happens after you call 911 for the coronavirus
New daily coronavirus cases rising in 38 statesWhite House claims only ‘embers’ of virus leftThe top...New daily coronavirus cases rising in 38 statesWhite House claims only ‘embers’ of virus leftThe top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci testified before the Senate on the government’s coronavirus efforts on Tuesday, as cases continue to soar and states around the country reverse their reopening efforts.He did so after the White House insisted the outbreak had been reduced to “embers” but after the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Anne Schuchat, insisted: “This is really the beginning.” Continue reading...