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Fauci isn’t sure what Trump means by saying the country is “around the corner from the virus.”



“I’m not sure what he meant,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Jim Acosta in The Situation Room.

“There are certain states that are actually doing well because the number of cases is falling.” However, Fauci went on to say that experts remain concerned about a number of states, including Montana, Michigan, Minnesota, and the Dakotas, which are seeing increases in the percentage of coronavirus tests positive – an indication of the spread of the virus.

The exchange was another example of a top scientist and member of the White House coronavirus task force publicly denying the president̵
7;s claims about the virus, a dynamic that has played out almost since the pandemic began.

“By the way, we are at the door,” said Trump during a press conference in the White House. “We’re around the corner from the virus.”

Earlier on Friday, a new model, widely quoted by leading health officials, predicted that more than 410,000 people in the US could die from the coronavirus by Jan. 1 – more than double the current death toll.

“Of course it is possible,” said Fauci of the model’s forecast. “If you do a lot of indoor work and don’t use masks, you will most likely hit that number.”

But Fauci tossed the projection as “good heads-up” of what could happen if Americans don’t take precautions. “While the number is a little scary … it can be kind of a nudge for us to realize that there is something we can do to stop this,” said Fauci.

The model from the Institute of Health Metrics and Assessment at the University of Washington states that using a near-universal mask could reduce the number of projected additional deaths by more than half.

On the way to Labor Day weekend, Fauci advised people to wear masks, maintain social distance, and avoid large crowds.

“We want to make sure that across the country, especially in the vulnerable states that are starting to see an upward trend, we are sticking to the public health mandates and rules that we talk about all the time over the weekend, and not in essence you have those same kind of waves we saw after other holiday weekends like July 4th and Memorial Day, “he said.


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