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Photo: Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images

Straight talk from Anthony Fauci:

  1. America doesn't have the coronavirus under control.
  2. Outbreaks in various parts of America put "the entire country at risk."
  3. He wouldn't "be surprised" if we hit 100K new cases a day, up from 40K.

Why it matters: Suppression of the virus has failed, and the U.S. is missing presidential leadership on social distancing and face masks.

Fauci before the Senate HELP Committee:

  • "I can't make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing, I will guarantee you that, because when you have an outbreak in one part of the country even though in other parts of the country they're doing well, they are vulnerable."
  • "We can't just focus on those areas that are having the surge. It puts the entire country at risk."
  • Fauci further warned against states skipping steps on reopening.
  • Video.

The big picture: Top leaders are beating the drum in favor of face masks, including...

  • VP Mike Pence
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • Former VP Joe Biden

Not on that list: President Trump

  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) specifically urged Trump on Sunday to wear a mask in order to "help to get rid of this political debate," Axios' Jacob Knutson reports.

Between the lines: Hospitalizations and deaths are a lagging indicator, so by the time the fresh outbreaks reach crisis levels, it'll already be too late.

The bottom line: Bars are "really not good, really not good. ... We really have got to stop that," Fauci told Congress today.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trumpworld coronavirus tracker

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

An outbreak of COVID-19 has struck the White House — including the president himself — just weeks before the 2020 election.

Why it matters: If the president can get infected, anyone can. And the scramble to figure out the scope of this outbreak is a high-profile, high-stakes microcosm of America's larger failures to contain the virus and to stand up a contact-tracing system that can respond to new cases before they have a chance to become outbreaks.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Oct 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pence's alternative pandemic world

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence described a world in which he and President Trump led Americans' heroic effort to defeat the coronavirus during last night's vice presidential debate. The problem is, he described a world that doesn't exist.

Why it matters: The coronavirus is very much not in control in the U.S., and America's failed response begins with the individual actions of the president and the vice president themselves.

Oct 8, 2020 - World

European countries tighten restrictions as coronavirus cases soar

The Trocadero esplanade, in front the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Photo: Mehdi Taamallah/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The number of coronavirus cases exceeded 6 million in Europe Wednesday, per AFP, as the World Health Organization warns that the continent is experiencing "rising COVID-19 fatigue."

The big picture: Cases are surging across the U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Germany, with records set in several European countries in the past week.