Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said on Tuesday that the U.S. is “going in the wrong direction” with keeping coronavirus at bay, as new cases raise dramatically in midwest and south, with more than 40,000 cases a day.

Fauci told senators that the rate of new coronavirus infections could skyrocket to 100,000 per day if the country doesn’t take measures to contain it, warning that the cases increase in the south and the west “puts the entire country at risk.”

“I am very concerned,” Fauci told a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee. “It is going to be very disturbing, I will guarantee you that, because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country, even though in other parts of the country they’re doing well, they are vulnerable.”

Fauci’s concerns come amid rapid increase of cases in the states like Florida and Texas that have seen a record high of new cases in recent days. In his speech, Fauci warned that “even though in other parts of the country they are doing well, they are vulnerable.” He expressed his concern over Americans not following safety guidelines, such as wearing face masks or keeping to social distancing rules. Fauci also urged states to close indoor bars again, saying, “congregation at a bar, inside, is bad news.”

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Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) has already shut down indoor bars and ordered restaurants to have a 50 percent capacity limit instead of 75 percent.

“People go to bars to get close and to drink and to socialize,” Abbott said in an interview with KVIA-TV in El Paso. “And that’s the kind of thing that stokes the spread of the coronavirus. So sure, in hindsight, it may have been better to slow the opening of the bar setting.”

Florida, which had almost 9,000 new daily cases of coronavirus on Friday, ordered bars to limit themselves to 50 percent capacity.

Fauci also addressed schools reopening and said schools should make a decision based on phase of reopening their state or region.

“The basic fundamental goal would be as you possibly can to get the children back to school and use the public health efforts as a tool to help the children get back to school,” Fauci said.


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