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Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings/AFP via Getty Images

The United States is "seeing hotspots literally throughout the entire country," with a countrywide average of 70,000 COVID-19 cases per day, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Silicon Valley Leadership Group's annual forum Friday.

Driving the news: The U.S. hit another grim milestone on Friday, with the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassing 9 million as new infections surge across the country, per data from Johns Hopkins University.

What he's saying: Fauci noted that, "When we first got hit badly, it was dominated predominantly by what was going on in the New York metropolitan area, where in the spring about 40% of the cases as the hospitalizations and the deaths were there."

  • But, "[o]ther areas of the country began to get hot as it were in the standpoint of cases. So our baseline, unlike Europe — which when they got hit badly, they came down to a very low baseline — our baseline was about 20,000 new cases a day."

The infectious disease expert added that the U.S. is still facing its "original wave" of the pandemic, with an "unacceptable" number of new cases, per CNBC.

  • “When I hear people talk about second and third waves, it really is the original wave that just resurges up, comes down a little, and resurges up again,” Fauci told SiriusXM’s “Doctor Radio Reports” in an interview that aired on Friday.
  • “We never got out of the real wave. We kind of went up and down within a wave."
  • The top infectious disease expert also said that the U.S. is reporting an “extremely high and quite unacceptable” daily number of COVID-19 cases as it prepares to head into the colder winter months.
  • "That’s something that you wish you did not have as you enter into the colder months because out of necessity, a lot more things are going to have to be done indoors because of the weather,” Fauci said.

Go deeper: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022

Go deeper

10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

California governor and family in quarantine after coronavirus exposure

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted late Sunday that he and his family are quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19.

Details: Newsom said they learned Friday that three of his children had come into contact with a California Highway Patrol officer who tested positive for the coronavirus. "Thankfully, the entire family tested negative today," Newsom said.

Updated 22 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sen. Kelly Loeffler to continue quarantine after receiving negative COVID test

Sen. Kelly Loeffler addresses supporters during a rally on Thursday. Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-Ga.) campaign announced Sunday that a previously inconclusive coronavirus test came back negative, but she will continue to follow CDC guidelines and self-isolate until she's able to get a more conclusive negative result.

Why it matters: Loeffler has been campaigning at events ahead of a Jan. 5 runoff in elections that'll decide which party holds the Senate majority. Vice President Mike Pence was with her on Friday.

Operation Warp Speed leader: COVID vaccine push is "isolated from a political environment"

Moncef Slaoui in the Rose Garden on Nov. 13. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Moncef Slaoui, the White House's top scientific adviser to Operation Warp Speed, told Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" on Sunday that the Trump administration's efforts to accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine is "isolated from a political environment" and that a change in administration "doesn't, frankly, make a difference" on its efficacy.

Why it matters: Slaoui told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday that he has not yet had contact with Joe Biden's transition team, as the president-elect prepares to inherit one of the country's biggest crises ahead of an expected vaccine distribution effort that would require massive logistical cooperation between states and the federal government.