WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci wants to be optimistic, but he also wants Americans to understand — they need to follow public health coronavirus recommendations.
What You Need To Know
- Fauci: US could go to 100K cases a day if we don't turn this around
- 4 states account for 50% of new coronavirus cases
- Fauci still hopeful schools can reopen in the fall
The nation’s leading infectious disease expert spoke Tuesday at a hearing for the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions committee on reopening schools and workplaces.
“We are now having 40-plus-thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around, and so I am very concerned,” said Fauci, infectious disease chief at the National Institutes of Health.
An estimated 39,586 were reported in the United States Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking coronavirus cases. Overall the country has seen over 2.5 million cases.
WATCH: Dr. Fauci: You Can't Just Focus on Outbreak Areas
Fauci said he was hopeful that schools could reopen in the fall, and that we should be doing everything in our power to make that happen.
"There are things that can be creatively done about modifying things like the school's schedule, alternate days, morning versus evening, allowing under certain circumstances online virtual lessons," Fauci said. "Those are the kinds of things that we need to consider but also importantly always make the goal that it is very important to get the children back to school."
But Fauci said this would largely depend on the dynamics of the outbreaks happening around the country, and the particular locations of the schools.
However, while some states were doing well in terms of holding down coronavirus cases, Fauci admitted that it was not enough.
"Although we do have a number of parts of the country that are doing well, I'm very concerned about what's going on right now, particularly in the four states that are accounting for about 50 percent of the new infections, but the other vulnerable states," Fauci said. "So I'd have to say the numbers speak for themselves. I'm very concerned, I'm not satisfied with what's going on, because we're going in the wrong direction."
Those four states include California, Texas, Arizona and Florida.
WATCH: Dr. Fauci: "The Numbers Speak for Themselves"
Fauci referenced videos of crowds socializing, often without masks or following other safety guidelines, as evidence of this. He also expressed disappointment at American Airlines' recent decision to book planes to capacity again. He said the only way to beat back rising cases of coronavirus was for Americans to see this as a team effort. And that means each person doing their part, even if they aren't sick.
"I think we need to emphasize the responsibility that we have both as individuals and as part of a societal effort to end the epidemic -- that we all have to play a part in that," Fauci said.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.