Fauci urges Americans to stop going to bars 'right now'

Sen. Paul challenges Fauci. Watch his response

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The United States cannot count on the availability of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, the government's top infectious diseases expert said on Tuesday, and he warned that the daily surge in cases could more than double to 100,000 new cases a day if Americans fail to take steps to get the virus under control.

Dr Fauci said Florida, Arizona, Texas and California are the four states now being affected the most by the pandemic. More than 100 coronavirus cases were linked to a popular college town bar that reopened in Michigan, McClatchy News reported. In Houston, ICUs hit 97 percent of normal capacity on Tuesday.

"I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around, and so I am very concerned", Fauci said. "We really have got to stop that", Fauci said, adding that without taking certain measures, the USA will continue to be in trouble.

Last weekend, the USA had a record daily number of confirmed new cases - 44,792.

As coronavirus situations are rising in a selection of states, Dr. Anthony Fauci is contacting out one particular offender in unique for the spike: bars. On Monday, Arizona paused operations at bars, gyms and movie theaters. "Remember, a lot of cases are going undetected because not everybody can get testing", he said. Meanwhile New York, New Jersey and CT, hot spots earlier in the pandemic, added 16 states to their self-quarantine orders for visitors. The U.S.is "in a much better place" than several months ago. California has closed bars in some counties, for instance, and New Jersey announced this week that it would not reopen indoor dining as planned. "More ready than ever before".

Both Dr. Fauci and Dr. Redfield strongly urge Americans to wear face coverings.

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"It is not an inconvenience".

"If we adhere to guidelines about physical distancing, use of masks, that will help keep the level of infection in the community down", he said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asked the panelists whether they would support an effort to increase the production of masks in this country and distribute them free of charge.

Alexander said he had to self-quarantine after a staff member tested positive for the virus but that he personally was protected because his staffer was wearing a mask.

But the chairman of the panel, Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, also pointed the finger at Mr Trump, and said the president had the power to end politicisation of mask-wearing that suggests "if you're for Trump, you don't wear a mask".

"It didn't have to be this way", the former vice president said in a speech in DE, in which he unveiled an updated plan to tackle the pandemic, including more testing and hiring at least 100,000 contract tracers. Dr. Fauci said "we recommend masks for everyone" and "masks are extremely important". "And so I am very concerned", he said.

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In response, Fauci said he largely agrees with what Paul said. "We should not look at the public health endeavors as being an obstruction to opening up".

Among the other health experts who attended the hearing were CDC Director Robert Redfield, FDA Director Stephen Hahn and Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir.

Cases are also spiking wildly in Russia: As of Wednesday, that country reported the world's third-highest number of COVID-19 cases, at more than 653,000, the Hopkins tally showed.

The most trusted medical figure in the US, Anthony Fauci, once again sounded the alarm over the severity of the coronavirus in that country. His remarks at a task force briefing were noteworthy.

Giroir said the USA government has contracted for "hundreds of millions of cloth face coverings" that could be distributed around the country.

No guarantee - but Fauci is still hopeful that a vaccine will become available in the early part of 2021.

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Some health experts have expressed worry that the FDA will rush to approve a vaccine before enough is known about safety or efficacy but the agency sought to allay those fears with the guidance.

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