Fauci said recent images of Americans congregating in bars or other crowds foreshadowing a larger spike in infections that will be very disturbing would continue to have a lot of problems, and there would be a lot of trouble if that happened. was producing. do not go.
Fauci gave his grim assessment in response to questions when he last appeared on Capitol Hill to inform lawmakers of the state of the pandemic as new infections plague much of the South and West, with intensifying hospitalizations in a dozen states.
He and other senior health officials acknowledge that the country’s public health system was ill-prepared for a major epidemic of infectious diseases, such as the Republican chairman of the Senate committee on health, education, work and of pensions called on President Trump to start ignoring federal directives to wear a mask in public.
Unfortunately, this simple rescue practice has become part of the political debate that says this: if you are for Trump, you are not wearing a mask. If you are against Trump, you do, said the chairman, Senator Lamar Alexander (Tenn.). This is why Ive suggested that the president occasionally wear a mask, although in most cases it is not necessary for him to do so. The president has many admirers. They would follow his example.
The rare reprimand of a senator from the president’s political party attests to a troubling reality for GOP politicians that the pandemic has recently turned from mainly democratic states to the red parts of the United States.
The hearing took place as Republican governors of the hard-hit new states, including Texas and Florida, canceled plans to reopen amid rising virus cases that have killed at least 124,000 people in the United States since. February.
Last weekend, the United States recorded a record number of new confirmed cases, 44,792. This is 30 percent more than 34,203 on April 25, the peak day for the initial wave of covid cases. spring.
At the Tuesday hearing, Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Healths, initially refused to answer a question directly from Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) deaths and infections that Americans should expect before the pandemic ends.
It will be very disturbing, replied Fauci. I guarantee you that, because when you have an epidemic in one part of the country, even if in other parts of the country they are doing well, they are vulnerable This puts the whole country in danger.Then, Fauci added that I wouldn’t be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if it doesn’t turn out, so I’m very worried.
He also told senators that federal and state directives this spring to keep people at home to avoid exposure to the virus have led about half of the United States to close much less compliance than in many European countries. , he said, where 95% of activities in these nations have closed. As a result, he said, the slowdown in the spread of the virus among Americans has been less pronounced.
On another aspect of the nations response to the pandemic, Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, acknowledged that the ability to trace contacts of people infected with coronavirus has been hampered by health data systems obsolete public.
In response to questions from Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Redfield said that the files of those potentially exposed to the virus really need aggressive modernization. A number of counties are still using this pen and pencil.
Contact tracing to find people with whom an infected person has been close is considered by public health specialists to be an essential tool for trying to contain an infectious virus, as well as for testing and isolating those who have been exposed .
And Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) Asked Redfield if the Trump administration would consider making recommendations to companies on how to safely reopen to mandatory standards by the labor and safety and the health of labor departments.
Baldwin noted that some companies follow federal guidelines, but others do not. She distinguished American Airlines for returning to her practice of trying to fill each seat on planes, rather than leaving a distance between passengers.
Redfield replied that the Secretary of Labor, Eugene Scalia, was a member of the White House Coronavirus task force, but said that this specific topic had not been addressed directly.
Also at the hearing, Brett Giroir, assistant secretary to the Department of Health and Human Services who coordinates coronavirus testing, said that to his knowledge, he remains the United States representative to the World Health Organization. Trump said a month ago that the United States would end our relationship with WHO today.
Giroir told senators that he had been confirmed as a WHO representative in early May. I was not called back, he said. I was not given instructions to remember.
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