Fauci warns January will be MUCH deadlier than December and says 'super-Covid' strain could flood US
JANUARY'S coronavirus death toll could be the highest yet, a top expert has claimed – after daily hospitalisations today reached an all time high.
Dr Anthony Fauci made the grim forecast on Tuesday, as daily Covid hospitalizations hit more than 121,000 – days after warning of a new spike caused by Christmas travel and gatherings.
At least 1.28 million ignored US travel warnings and boarded flights on Sunday, according to daily figures from the Transportation and Security Administration.
Meanwhile, 1.1 million travelers took journeys on Monday according to the agency – even as those admitted to hospital each day shows no sign of slowing down.
Fauci – after warning of a “post-seasonal” surge in Covid infections on Sunday – today predicted that Americans' failure to heed experts' advice on the Christmas holidays would have nightmarish consequences.
He told CNN today: "Once you get to large numbers of people at a dinner, inside, poor air ventilation and circulation, that's when you get in trouble."
'We're going to have an increase super-imposed on [the current] surge that could make January even worse than December," he added.
Without giving specific examples of data, Fauci continued: "I think we just have to assume that it will get worse.
"We're between 100,000 and 200,000 new infections each day. There was a period where it was over 200,000. I hope we just don't get to that level of continually seeing over 800,000."
"You get cases, hospitalizations, and then deaths. It is highly predictable."
The top disease expert also warned that the new super strain of Covid-19 – said to be 70 percent more transmissible – had already arrived in the US, after triggering various lockdowns across Europe.
"I cannot imagine that we're not going to get it,' Fauci said of the new strain.
"The question is preventing it from becoming the dominant strain."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned Americans to celebrate at home rather than traveling to loved ones to curb the spread of Covid-19.
But 84.5 million residents were expected to travel through the whole Christmas and New Year period by road, rail and planes.
616,000 people flew on Christmas Day despite Covid warnings, while a further 1.12 million underwent journeys on Boxing Day.
“As we get into the next few weeks, it might actually get worse,” Fauci continued.
"If you look at the slope, the incline of cases that we have experienced as we have gone into the late fall and soon-to-be-early winter, it is really quite troubling."
It comes as Tuesday's latest figures showed 335,051 people have already died in the US from coronavirus, with more than 19.3 million cases, according to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University.
The Covid Tracking Project noted that hospitalisations due to Covid-19 are reaching record levels each day, with a Monday ally showing around 121,235 patients were admitted to hospital facilities.
It was also the 27th consecutive day that the country remained above the 100,000 mark of hospitalizations.
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