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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Congress Wednesday that the worst is yet to come in the U.S. regarding the coronavirus outbreak — a warning he has repeatedly sounded in recent weeks.

What he said:

"Whenever you have an outbreak that you can start seeing community spread, which means by definition that you don't know what the index case is, and the way you can approach it is by contact tracing — when you have enough of that then it becomes a situation where you're not going to be able to effectively and efficiently contain it.
Whenever you look at the history of outbreaks, what you see now in an uncontained way — and although we are containing it in some respects, we keep getting people coming in from the country that are travel-related. We've seen that in many of the states that are now involved and then when you get community spread it makes the challenge much greater.
So I can say we will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now. How much worse it will get will depend on our ability to do two things: to contain the influx of people who are infected coming from the outside, and the ability to contain and mitigate within our own country.
Bottom line, it's going to get worse."

The state of play: Fauci's message is consistent with what other health officials have said about the outbreak, but contradicts President Trump's declaration in late February that the number of cases "within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero."

  • Confirmed cases in the U.S. have now topped 1,000.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate will now work through votes on a series of amendments that are expected to last overnight into early Saturday morning.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.