States with coronavirus outbreaks must consider shutting down, according to White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci.
His statement comes as the US continuously records a high number coronavirus cases daily. States in the South and West reportedly drive the surge.
“What we are seeing is exponential growth. It went from an average of about 20,000 to 40,000 and 50,000. That’s doubling. If you continue doubling, two times 50 is 100,” Fauci said during a Wall Street Journal podcast.
“Any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down. It’s not for me to say because each state is different,” he noted.
Earlier this week, the US recorded a record single-day increase of 60,021 confirmed infections. California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida made up almsot half of all new coronavirus cases in the US in recent days.
A CNBC analysis of data collected by Johns Hopkins University revealed that the country has recorded 52,444 new coroanvirus cases per day on average over the past seven days. This is a 20.3% increase compared with a week ago.
The seven-day average made a new record high daily for the past couple of weeks, the CNBC’s analysis shows.
Despite a resurgence in Covid-19 infections in Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has stressed that the state will not impose closures of businesses again. However, local officials in particularly hard-hit counties and cities are expected to decide on their policies on their own.
“We’re not going back, closing things. I don’t think that that’s really what’s driving it, people going to a business is not what’s driving it,” DeSantis said on June 30. “I think when you see the younger folks, I think a lot of it is more just social interactions, so that’s natural.”
Florida was among the first states to reopen their economy, with DeSantis permitting most restaurants and stores to resume operations with modifications on May 4.
“Among the states, and there’s admission from within, some states went too fast, some states went according to what the timetable was, but the people in the state didn’t listen and just threw caution to the wind,” he said.
“Some states, it gets frustrating, because, not to name any states, but some states admittedly opened up too early and too quickly, so that was something that probably should not have happened that led to this,” he added.
“To say that it’s benign is not true, because we’re already seeing the hospitalizations going up in these states,” he said. “We’re seeing the intensive care beds are now almost being fully occupied, so this is not inconsequential what’s going on. It’s having an impact.”
The seven-day average of hospitalizations increased by 5% in 25 states on Wednesday, based on a CNBC analysis of data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project, an independent volunteer group started by journalists at The Atlantic.
With this, Fauci called on Americans to observe public health guidance and to treat the virus seriously.
“Obviously, you’d like to see a consistent message all along that people understand,” he said. “But for better or worse, unfortunately, that’s not exactly what’s going on.”