Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci on Wednesday told a Wall Street Journal podcast that states experiencing a significant uptick in new coronavirus cases "should seriously look at shutting down."

The big picture: The comments come as states like Florida, Texas and Arizona have become new hotspots for the virus, with soaring rates of infections and rising deaths.

  • While those states have taken steps to pause their economic reopenings, like closing down bars, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has said he will not reinstate restrictions or move to again close businesses that have reopened.

What he's saying: "Any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down. It's not for me to say because each state is different."

  • Fauci said he and the White House's coronavirus task force has been "in contact frequently" with public health officials in those states.
  • He blamed a "let it rip" mentality on the surge in cases, saying, "We are all in this together. ... I've been trying to stress that by getting infected or not really caring if you're getting infected, you will inadvertently infect someone. ... So to say that it's benign is not true."

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Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread


A sneeze. Photo: Maartje van Caspel/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.

Coronavirus hotspots begin to improve

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

Coronavirus infections are falling or holding steady in most of the country, including the hard-hit hotspots of Arizona, California and Florida.

The big picture: A decline in new infections is always good news, but don't be fooled: the U.S. still has a very long way to go to recover from this summer's surge.

Updated 17 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios VisualsThe

The Philippines' economy sunk into recession as its gross domestic product shrank 16.5% in the second quarter — marking the lowest reading since 1981, official figures show.

The big picture: Millions of Filipinos went on lockdown Tuesday as cases surged past 106,300, with stay-at-home orders in place for two weeks in Manila and nearby provinces on the island of Luzon, per the BBC. The economy's contraction is the "deepest" on record, Bloomberg notes.