Testifying before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, the nation's top infectious disease expert said that officials in the USA are "not in total control" of pandemic amid an alarming acceleration of cases in other parts of the country, particularly Florida, Texas and Arizona, according to CNBC.
The U.S.is "going in the wrong direction" in its effort to contain the novel coronavirus and daily case counts could more than double if behaviors don't change, infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said Tuesday.
Graffiti depicting US President Trump, right, and China's President Xi Jinping kissing each other with face masks, displayed at a wall in Berlin, Germany. "If you are outside your home and can't socially distant, you should wear a mask at all times".
"We're looking at the Fourth of July coming up in a couple of days, and frankly it scares me", he said.
With those numbers from this past weekend in mind, Fauci explained that it's possible the daily totals could go even higher, since the U.S.is not showing any signs of stopping the spread of COVID-19. Hospitalizations have increased in 12 states, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield told members of the Senate health committee.
Also during the hearing, Fauci said he's "concerned" about how some states have gone about reopening their economies and said he's observed some states "skipping steps" on federal government guidelines. "That's why I've suggested that the president occasionally wear a mask, even though in most cases it's not necessary for him to do so".
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., cited a survey conducted in late May that found only about half of Americans intend to get a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available. The president has plenty of admirers. "When states start to try and open again, they need to follow the guidelines that have been very carefully laid out with regard to checkpoints".
"Hopefully there will be doses available by the beginning of next year".
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said vaccine makers also must test their shots in diverse populations, including minorities, the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic health problems.
"We have an obligation to use all of our scientific knowledge, regulatory framework to ensure that any vaccine that comes before us whether for authorization or approval meets our stringent standards for safety and effectiveness", Hahn testified. "We should look at it as a vehicle to opening up", he said.
Almost 10.3 million coronavirus cases have been detected worldwide, with roughly 2.6 million infections reported in the United States.
"You can get outdoors, you can interact, wear a mask, try to avoid the close congregation of people, wash your hands often, but don't just make it all or none", Fauci said, according to the news outlet.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday launched a fresh attack on US President Donald Trump's "historic mismanagement" of the pandemic.