Dr. Anthony Fauci , the nation's leading infectious disease expert, hopes the latest data on a rising number of Covid-19 cases and projections of more deaths "jolt" the American public into reality, he told CNN's Jake Tapper Monday.
The latest data show that 31 states in America are seeing an upward trend of new Covid-19 cases — and the pandemic could get worse, as the latest forecast of the widely-used model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington projects another 181,000 deaths in the United States by February.
"I hope these numbers that you're quoting, which are absolutely correct numbers, jolt the American public into the realization that we really cannot let this happen — because it's on a trajectory of getting worse and worse. And that's the worst possible thing that can happen as we get into the cooler months," said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"I think that people think that when we talk about public health, that we're talking about shutting down. Let's get that off the table. We are not talking about shutting down. We're talking about simple public health measures, as simple as they sound, are really quite effective — and that's what we say over and over again. Universal wearing of masks. Keep physical distance. Above all, avoid crowds and congregate settings," Fauci said.
He added: "Wash your hands as often as you can. Try to do things outdoors much more preferably than indoors. If we just do those five things, Jake — we don't have to do anything more complicated than that — and you would have a major impact on preventing surges, or even turning surges around that are ongoing."