NIAID director Anthony Fauci said during congressional testimony Tuesday that he is concerned about the "disturbing surge" of new coronavirus cases in several states across the U.S., including Texas, Florida and Arizona.
Why it matters: Fauci warned that the "next few weeks will be critical" to contain the new outbreaks and that states "must have the manpower, the system, the testing to identify, isolate and contact trace."
What he's saying: Fauci said the new case numbers are a combination of states processing more coronavirus tests and an increase of community spread in metropolitan areas.
- "That's something I'm really quite concerned about. And you know that. This is something that's been in the press over the past couple of days. We were going down from 30,000 [new cases per day] to 25,000 to 20,000, and then we sort of stayed kind of flat, but now we're going up. A couple of days ago there were 30,000 new infections. That's very troublesome to me."
- "If you look at how we've been hit, we've been hit badly. I mean, anybody who looks at the numbers — we've had now over 120,000 deaths, and we've had two and a half million infections. So, it's a serious situation."
- "In some respects, we've done very well. Right now, for example, the New York metropolitan area, which has been hit extraordinarily hard, has done well in bringing the cases down and using guidelines that we have very carefully together in a step-wise fashion to try and carefully reopen their city and their state."
The big picture: On Saturday, the country reported 33,000 new cases, the highest total since May 1.
- In many states, including Arizona, Texas, North Carolina and Alabama, the new infections are outpacing the growth in testing, meaning the surges are not solely attributable to increased testing.