Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the U.S. is in a steep slope regarding the rising rate of infections following the Thanksgiving holiday and heading in to December, during an interview on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday (November 29).
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday reported 12,999,664 cases of new coronavirus, an increase of 176,572 cases from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 1,283 to 263,956.
Americans defied pleas from state and local officials to stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday in the face of the surging coronavirus pandemic. Spiraling infections typically result in a rising death toll weeks later. The head of the U.S. response to infectious diseases also said he’d been receiving calls from healthcare officials throughout the country saying they their facilities are at capacity. Initial lockdowns were prompted by concerns that a rapid spread of the virus could overwhelm the healthcare system.
Fauci did note that there was a “light at the end of the tunnel” due to plans for the vaccine to be released sometime in December.
He also urged Americans to continue to wear masks, avoid touching their faces and practice social distancing.
“If we can hang together as a country and do these kinds of things to blunt these surges until we get a substantial proportion of the population vaccinated, we can get through this,” Fauci said.
(Production: Deborah Gembara)