A top government infectious disease expert said Sunday he sees the possibility of a third and even fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We may see a surge upon a surge,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during a virtual appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”
“You know, we don’t want to frighten people, but that’s just the reality. We said that these things would happen as we got into the cold weather and as we began traveling. And they’ve happened. It’s going to happen again,” he added.
Fauci said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the United States is already seeing a surge in cases of COVID-19.
“The concern we had as we entered into the Thanksgiving holiday, and as we’re now coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday, is that the travel and the people congregating at dinners that you'd expect—we tried to get the word out for people, as difficult as it is, to really not have large gatherings of people, family and friends but try to keep it confined to the immediate household,” he said.
“But, you know, people are not always going to do that. So, what we expect, unfortunately, as we go for the next couple of weeks into December, is that we might see a surge superimposed upon that surge that we’re already in.”
Fauci believes that because of the rise in cases and hospitalizations in some states, the harsh restrictions imposed by governors, including limits and bans on gatherings, will likely remain through Christmas.
Adm. Brett Giroir, the White House’s CCP virus testing czar, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that he spoke with Fauci over the weekend, “and we are both in very good agreement that what happens depends a lot on what we do.”
“There certainly can be a surge because of the travel and the mixing of people who have not been in their own little pods. But, right before the holiday, we started to see just the glimmers of flattening of new cases, which was very positive. But we are at a risky time because of the travel. And, again, it’s not just the travel, but it’s exposing people who have not been sort of in their own pods,” he said.
“We know that people are acting pretty well right now when they’re in their local home locations, but, when they go somewhere different, you have groups of people mixing. And remember, you can be asymptomatic and still spread the virus. And that’s what’s so dangerous.”
On “Fox News Sunday,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams was blunt. “I want to be straight with the American people, it’s going to get worse over the next several weeks,” he said. “But the actions that we take in the next several days will determine how bad it is, or whether or not we continue to flatten our curve.”
Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said she shares Fauci’s concerns, adding that the United States is seeing a third wave of cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
“If you look at the second wave going into the Memorial Day weekend we had less than 25,000 cases a day. We had only 30,000 inpatients in the hospital and we had way less mortality, way under a thousand. We’re entering this post-Thanksgiving surge with three, four, and 10 times as much disease across the country. And so that’s what worries us the most,” she said on CBS' “Face the Nation.”
“We saw what happened post Memorial Day. Now we are deeply worried about what could happen post-Thanksgiving because [of] the number of cases.”