Fauci warns new U.S. coronavirus cases could rise to 100,000 per day

Dr. Anthony Fauci
(Image credit: KEVIN DIETSCH/AFP via Getty Images)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Congress on Tuesday that the number of new COVID-19 cases reported in the United States could rise to 100,000 a day.

Fauci spoke to the Senate on Tuesday as the number of new cases of coronavirus in the U.S. has been rising, with surges in states including Florida and Texas. In response to questions from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Fauci said it's clear from the numbers that the U.S. is "going in the wrong direction."

"We've really got to do something about that, and we need to do it quickly," Fauci said. "...Clearly, we are not in total control right now."

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Fauci also warned that if many Americans continue to not wear masks in public and ignore social distancing guidelines, "we're going to continue to be in a lot of trouble, and there's going to be a lot of hurt." If this situation doesn't "turn around," Fauci said he "would not be surprised" if the number of new coronavirus cases reported in the United States each day rises from around 40,000 to around 100,000.

While Fauci wouldn't make a specific prediction about what the final U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic will be, he guaranteed it would be "very disturbing" and later said, "I think it's important to tell you and the American public that I'm very concerned because it could get very bad." Brendan Morrow

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