Dr. Fauci warns reopening US too soon could ‘backfire’

Over 40,000 people have died in the U.S.



By Morgan Winsor and Emily Shapiro

ABC News – A global pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 166,000 people worldwide.

Over 2.4 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected nation, with more than 760,000 diagnosed cases and at least 40,690 deaths.

Many cities and states have begun counting probable deaths caused by COVID-19, including New York City, the U.S. epicenter of the disease. The number of cases in New York state alone is higher than in any single country outside the U.S.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the nation’s top medical experts on the coronavirus pandemic, warned Monday that reopening the U.S. economy too soon could “backfire.”

“Unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery economically is not going to happen,” Fauci told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos in an interview on “Good Morning America.”

“If you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you’re going to set yourself back,” he explained. “That’s the problem.”

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the United States is currently conducting about 1.5 to 2 million COVID-19 tests per week and is “certainly going to need more.”

“We need to get up to at least maybe two times that, three times that,” he said. “But we will as we go into the coming weeks.”

Fauci noted that tapping into “unused capacity” is equally important, so that states can identify and isolate cases as well as trace contacts.

“What we need to do is make a better connectivity with the tests that are available as well as the capacity that in some cases is not used, through no fault of the governor or the local people,” he said. “There’s got to be a meeting of the two.”

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