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NIAID director Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the U.S. could see in the coming weeks "a surge superimposed upon that surge that we're already in," as COVID-19 cases are expected to rise after many Americans traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Why it matters: Cases and hospitalizations are already skyrocketing nationwide. Governors and health departments in some states have warned that the increase in cases could overwhelm hospital systems.

What he's saying: "So what we expect, unfortunately, as we go for the next couple of weeks into December, that we might see a surge superimposed upon that surge that we're already in," Fauci said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

  • "When I give that message, I don't want to frighten people, except to say it is not too late at all for us to do something about this," he added, noting Americans should be careful as they travel home.
  • Fauci also said he is concerned about overwhelmed or failing hospital systems as infections increase.

What to watch: Fauci said he expects states and cities to face new choices on restrictions "because we're entering into what's really a precarious situation because we're in the middle of a steep slope."

  • Fauci said after Jan. 20, he would push newly sworn-in President Biden to implement blanket coronavirus testing to "get a better understanding of the asymptomatic transmission."
  • "We likely, almost certainly, are going to be vaccinating a portion of the individuals in the first priority before the end of December, and then as we get into January and February and March, more and more."

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

NYC set to restart indoor dining in February, weddings in March

Outdoor dining in New York City in January. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that if the current coronavirus positivity in New York City holds, indoor dining will reopen at 25% capacity on Feb. 14, one of the busiest dining days of the year.

Why it matters: The forced closure of indoor dining in December caused major backlash, as New York's struggling restaurant industry had already been hit hard by pandemic restrictions. Restaurants will still be required to close at 1o p.m.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions — Exclusive: Teenagers' mental health claims doubled last spring.
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  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. World: China and Russia vaccinate the world, for now.
  5. Energy: Global carbon emissions rebound to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.