Anthony Fauci testifies in Washington, D.C., on June 30. Photo: Al Drago/AFP via Getty Images

Anthony Fauci said at an event with Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) on Tuesday "that it's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death" from the coronavirus in the U.S., warning: "There’s so many other things that are dangerous and bad about the virus. Don’t get into false complacency."

The big picture: The mean age of Americans currently being infected by the virus has declined by 15 years compared to where it stood several months ago. This has been one contributing factor in the lower death rate the U.S. has experienced during the recent surge in cases, since "the younger you are, the better you do, and the less likely you're gonna get seriously ill and die," Fauci said.

  • Another reason for the lower death rate is that treatments and therapies for those with advanced coronavirus symptoms have improved in the U.S., Fauci said.
  • He noted that "the idea that the virus is mutating and so is less damaging to people, has not yet been proven at all."
  • President Trump tweeted earlier Tuesday: "We have the lowest Mortality Rate in the World. The Fake News should be reporting these most important of facts, but they don’t!"

Where it stands: The United States' alarming rise in coronavirus cases isn't due to increased testing — particularly not where cases have grown fastest over the last month, Axios' Andrew Witherspoon and Caitlin Owens report.

  • Fauci said on Tuesday that there have been "multiple examples of young people who are getting sick, getting hospitalized, and some of them even requiring intensive care" as cases rise in younger Americans.
  • He urged local officials to implement mask mandates and condemned the politicization of the issue: "If you say 'it doesn't matter whether you put it on or take it off,' you’re giving a wrong, mixed signal," Fauci said. "The message should be, 'Wear a mask, period.'

Go deeper: Case growth outpacing testing in coronavirus hotspots

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Why it matters: It’s becoming increasingly clear that some patients struggle with its health consequences — and costs — far longer than a few weeks.

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Driving the news: Top scientific advisers warned last week that the U.K. could see up to 50,000 coronavirus cases per day by mid-October if current growth continues.

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New York City's coronavirus positivity rate has ticked up to 3.25%, its highest since June, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The jump — from 1.93% on Monday — came on the first day that public elementary classrooms reopened in the city after months of closures, but guidelines state that all public schools will have to shut if the citywide seven-day positivity rate stays above 3%.