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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with AP Tuesday that the United States does not yet have the testing and contact tracing capacity to reopen its economy.

The big picture: The Trump administration has been encouraged by data showing fewer deaths than models earlier predicted, and some aides have pushed for a May 1 reopening. But Fauci cautioned against that target, saying it's “a bit overly optimistic" for much of the country until there's rapid testing in place.

Last week, Surgeon General Jerome Adams also disagreed with others in the federal government that the 30-day campaign will be enough for all Americans to re-up their work and lifestyles.

  • Government projections show that lifting social distancing restrictions after just 30 days will lead to a dramatic infection spike this summer and death tolls that would rival having done nothing since the outbreak began, the New York Times reports.

What Fauci's saying:

  • “I’ll guarantee you, once you start pulling back there will be infections. It’s how you deal with the infections that’s going count."
  • Easing existing social distancing rules in much of the U.S. would need to happen on a “rolling” basis, he said, rather than all at once.
  • “We have to have something in place that is efficient and that we can rely on, and we’re not there yet."

What's next: Looking forward, Fauci said another wave of infections isn't predetermined. However, “if you mean it goes way down and then come September, October, November, we have another peak, I have to say I would not be surprised," he said.

  • "I would hope that if and when that occurs, that we jump all over it in a much, much more effective way than we have in these past few months.”

Go deeper... The latest coronavirus red flag: contact tracing

Go deeper

Clinton-linked lawyer indicted in investigation of FBI's Russia probe

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

A grand jury has returned an indictment against Michael Sussmann, a lawyer whose firm represented the 2016 Clinton campaign, for lying to the FBI about not representing "any client" when he presented them with allegations about a secret Trump Organization back-channel to a Russian bank.

Why it matters: It's the second criminal charge stemming from special counsel John Durham's review of possible misconduct by the intelligence community and prosecutors who investigated the 2016 Trump campaign's ties to Russia.

Federal judge blocks Biden administration's use of Title 42 policy

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a public health order that fast-tracked deportations of migrant families at the southern border.

Why it matters: President Biden has faced significant backlash for retaining the Trump-era policy, which was implemented as a COVID containment measure. The expulsions deny adult migrants and families the chance for asylum.

2 hours ago - World

Blinken, Austin call out China at event on Australia security pact

Blinken and Austin. Photo: Andrew Harnik/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin condemned China's "aggressive" and "destabilizing" behavior at a press conference Thursday, as they inaugurated a major new trilateral security partnership with Australia and the U.K.

Why it matters: China was not explicitly mentioned in President Biden's announcement of the AUKUS alliance, through which the U.S. and the U.K. will help Australia acquire nuclear-powered submarines as part of a broader effort to ensure "peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific."