Fauci warns not to 'declare Covid victory prematurely' as Miami imposes 8pm curfew for rowdy spring breakers
DR Anthony Fauci has warned not to “declare a Covid victory prematurely” as Miami imposed a 8pm curfew for rowdy spring breakers.
The infectious diseases expert, 80, made the claim in an interview with MSNBC’s Christ Hayes Friday night.
In recent weeks Covid cases across the US have been flattening out at around 55,000 per day, prompting some to speculate the pandemic is nearly over as the vaccine rollout continues and warmer weather is on the way.
But Dr Fauci warned there could still be another spike in cases.
“Instead of continuing to go down at a sharp line it's plateaued. Once it's done that, there's a high risk of another resurgence. We've seen that with previous surges. The other three [surges] that we've had in this country,” the leading doctor said.
“Don't declare victory prematurely. We still have a ways to go, plateauing at 50,000 cases a day is not a good place to be. And that's where we are. We've got to keep pushing to get it down even further.”
Experts believe the spring break could create a “perfect storm” which allows the coronavirus to continue to spread.
Young people without masks have been spotting packing together on Florida’s beaches and in bars – despite the new B.1.1.7 strain, which originated in the UK, sweeping across the sunshine state.
Dr Peter Hotez, of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said: "It's a perfect storm."
He told CNN: "You've got the B.1.1.7 variant accelerating in Florida.
"You've got all these 20-year-old kids. None of them are going to have masks. They're all going to be drinking. They're having pretty close, intimate contact.
"And then, after that's all done, they're going to go back to their home states and spread the B.1.1.7 variant."
Just days ago 150 people were arrested in Miami after brawls broke out.
Dan Gelber, Miami Beach Mayor said of the weekend: "It is a really difficult situation."
Speaking to Local 10 News he said: "A lot of people are coming here and they are coming here with the wrong intentions."
Cops imposed an 8pm curfew today in the South Beach entertainment district as well as stopping most eastbound traffic entering the city after 9pm, the Miami Herald reported.
With a number of European countries being plunged back into lockdown due to the rising number of Covid cases, Fauci fears the US may follow suit if Americans do not keep their guard up.
“Europe tends to be three or four weeks ahead of us in the dynamics of the outbreak,” Fauci said. “They went up, came down, plateaued. They pulled back on the mitigation methods. They stop wearing masks. They opened up the bars. They did the things that we warned shouldn't be done and now Europe is seeing, in general, a surge of five to ten percent. I hope that doesn't happen here, but it looks like it's starting to do that.”
Dr Fauci called on Americans to redouble their efforts on safety issues such as mask wearing and maintain social distancing.
He said: “We just have to hang in there a bit longer because every day that goes by you get two to three million people more vaccinated and as we get out of March into April and May, a lot more people will be vaccinated, which would make it a lot less likely that you'd see a surge.”
Dr Fauci also repeated his message during an interview with TODAY Saturday morning.
He said: “When you have that plateauing, that's usually the forerunner of another surge.”
There were 61,413 new Covid cases recorded across the US Friday.
That’s a rise from the average of the previous seven days, which is 56,316.
Since the coronavirus outbreak 29.7 million Americans have tested positive for Covid-19.
In total 541,145 people in the US have died from the virus.
The death rate though has decreased since the country recorded record highs at the start of the year.
Reports indicate Americans are feeling increasingly optimistic as the rollout of the vaccine has increased in efficiency.
According to the CDC, 41.9 million Americans have now been fully vaccinated.
In addition, 35.1 million Americans have received their first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
Experts though have indicated a race between the virus and the vaccine as new variants are spreading which could weaken or possibly evade the effectiveness of the current vaccines.
“I think it is a race against time,” Dr. Stephen J. Thomas, SUNY Upstate Medical University's chief of infectious disease told the New York Times. “Every single person that we can get vaccinated or every single person that we can get a mask on is one less opportunity that a variant has.”
Some public health experts have warned the re-opening of many bars, indoor gyms and restaurants could increase the risk of the virus continuing to spread.
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