Fauci reminds Americans the fight against COVID-19 isn’t over

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) – One of the nation’s top infectious disease experts doubled down on his opinion the U.S. is far from defeating the coronavirus. Doctor Anthony Fauci says every American still has an important role to play.

The death toll in the United States edged over 100,000 lives lost. The sobering impact of that figure made clear on the cover of USA Today, which put a face to the pandemic.

A new study Wednesday showed the number of people dying each day in the U.S. since April is 10% higher than in previous years.

As the nation’s top infectious disease doctor told CNN, things could get better. Dr. Fauci said, “The CDC is putting more of a workforce out there to help us do the kinds of identification, isolation, and contact tracing. I feel better and better we’re capable of doing that.”

But Dr. Fauci said continuing social distancing and wearing masks are also part of the solution. “I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that’s the kind of thing you should be doing,” he explained. “It’s sort of respect for another person and have that other person respect you. You wear a mask, they wear a mask, you protect each other.”

Something Fauci said he regrets seeing this weekend at this now-infamous lakeside pool party in Missouri. “That’s not prudent,” he said, “and that’s inviting a situation that could get out of control.”

14 states are still seeing daily increases in new cases, several of those in the South.

Dr. Fauchi said, “I think when you look at some of those areas and you start to see a little bit of an uptick you have to watch really carefully. When you do that and you see no negative effect in one week, please don’t be overconfident because the effect of spreading is not going to be seen for two, three maybe even more weeks.”

On Wednesday, the nation’s capital became the latest major city to announce its reopening. Starting Friday, barbershops, hair salons and outdoor restaurant dining, all allowed, but with a warning.

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said, “Moving into phase one means more people can get infected. Every one of us has a role to play in protecting ourselves and each other.”

In Florid, Disney World and some of the surrounding theme parks announced they hope to reopen to the public in July, but Mickey has some rules. Disney Senior VP Jim McPhee explained, “All of our social distancing squads understand and are encouraging and persuading guests to keep their masks on at all times.”

While in hard-hit Miami-Dade County, the beaches and hotels will welcome people again starting Monday, with some restrictions. Restaurants on South Beach’s famed Ocean Drive already opened their doors.

On the other coast, some retail businesses, churches and pools can open in California. Again, with limitations and a word of a caution. California Governor Gavin Newsom said, “We still haven’t gotten through the first wave.”

Back in New York, the epicenter of the pandemic, the numbers continue trending in the right direction. Long Island, just outside New York City, has begun phase one of reopening with some construction, manufacturing and curbside retail.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “We’re pleased with the progress that we’re making in New York and we’re ready to go to the next phase, open a new chapter.”

Fauci expressed optimism about a vaccine that could be ready by November or December if trials prove successful.

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