Speed Reads

sunday shows

NIH director says he'll be surprised if U.S. doesn't hit 200,000 COVID-19 cases per day soon

National Institutes for Health Director Francis Collins told Fox News' Chris Wallace on Sunday that he'll be surprised if the United States doesn't begin recording 200,000 COVID-19 cases per day once again in the next couple of weeks. The latest Delta variant-fueled increase in cases has shown no signs of slowing down, he said, making 90 million unvaccinated Americans "sitting ducks for this virus." 

"That's heartbreaking, considering we never thought we would be back in that space again. That was January, February," he said, referring to the last wave of cases just before the U.S. ramped up its vaccine rollout. "That shouldn't be August. But here we are."

Meanwhile, Michael Osterholm, the director of the Centers for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, gave NBC News' Chuck Todd an update on the timeline of the current surge, which he believes "could sustain itself for another four to six weeks." Even if vaccinations pick up steam, he explained, immunity won't kick in for a few weeks, so other mitigation efforts like mask-wearing will be necessary to bring infections down.