May 12, 2020 - Health

Fauci: "Of course" there will be more deaths if U.S. does not have adequate testing by fall

The U.S. will "without a doubt" have more coronavirus infections and deaths in the fall and winter if effective testing, contact tracing and social distancing measures are not scaled up to adequate levels, Anthony Fauci told Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) at a hearing Tuesday.

The big picture: Fauci said he expects testing will be adequate by the end of the summer or early fall, but that if it isn't, "we run the risk of having a resurgence. President Trump claimed on Monday that the U.S. has "met the moment and prevailed" with regard to testing, contradicting several of his own health officials.

  • Adm. Brett Giroir, the federal government's testing coordinator, testified that the U.S. should have the capacity to test more than 25 million people per month by August or September.

The exchange:

WARREN: "If we don't do better on testing, on contact tracing and on social distancing, will deaths from coronavirus necessarily increase?"
FAUCI: "Of course. If you do not do an adequate response, we will have the deleterious consequence of more infections and more deaths. That's the reason why you quoted me, senator, quite correctly, everything you said. And I will stand by that. If we do not respond in an adequate way when the fall comes, given that it is without a doubt that there will be infections in the community, that we run the risk of having a resurgence. I would hope by that point in time in the fall we have more than enough to respond adequately. But if we don't, there will be problems. 

The big picture: Fauci testified that the U.S. does not have the coronavirus "completely under control," and that while cases may be declining in places like New York City, they are spiking in other parts of the country. The virus is "highly transmissible" and will not "just disappear," he added.

Go deeper: Fauci warns of dire effects of states failing to follow reopening guidelines

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: Over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Nearly 354,000 Americans have recovered and over 15.1 million tests have been conducted. California became the fourth state with at least 100,000 reported cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, along with Illinois, New Jersey and New York.

Go deeper (2 min. read)ArrowUpdated 14 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus still has a foothold in the South

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Overall, new coronavirus infections in the U.S. are on the decline. But a small handful of states, mainly clustered in the South, aren't seeing any improvement.

The big picture: Our progress, nationwide, is of course good news. But it's fragile progress, and it’s not universal. Stubborn pockets of infection put lives at risk, and they can spread, especially as state lockdowns continue to ease.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,722,859 — Total deaths: 356,435 — Total recoveries — 2,374,387Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,702,911 — Total deaths: 100,576 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Business: U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter — 2.1 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.
  4. States: America's megacities could lose economic growth due to remote work.
  5. 2020: Joe Biden to speak virtually at Texas Democratic Convention.
  6. ✈️Transportation: What airlines are offering passengers to ensure social distancing.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy