The idea of a second wave is based on the pattern observed during the 1918 pandemic, when cases were seen in the spring and then cases “literally disappeared” before an “explosion” of cases in the fall, Fauci said.
“Instead of saying ‘A Second Wave’ why don’t we say ‘Are we prepared for the challenge of fall and winter?'” Fauci said.
This challenge could include an increase in Covid-19 cases across the country as more fronts open, including the many schools and colleges across the country that have re-enrolled students in classes. And when the weather gets cooler, more gatherings move inward, where the virus can spread more easily.
In the US, more than 6.9 million people are already infected with the virus. CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield said more than 90% of the population remains susceptible to the virus this week. At least 202,000 Americans have died.
As of early Friday morning, 23 states in the country̵
7;s heartland and the Midwest reported an increase in new cases compared to the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins University. About 16 states migrated steadily. Eleven states saw a decline – Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia.
How to prepare
Cities, counties, and states that have managed to end their Covid-19 cases should work now to “prevent the surges that inevitably happen if you don’t take the kind of public health measures that go beyond that.” we speak, “said Fauci.
These measures include what experts have vouched for for months: covering your face, washing your hands, and avoiding crowds.
According to researchers from the Institute of Health Metrics and Assessment (IHME) at the University of Washington, about 12 states are currently seeing mask usage rates in excess of 50%. These include California, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
The IHME Project: If 95% of Americans Wore masks, more than 95,000 lives could be saved by January.
And there’s another tool that could make the next few months easier: the flu shot. The US has ordered about 200 million doses of this vaccine, Fauci said, the highest amount officials have ever tried to vaccinate. Public health officials say fewer people battling the flu this year will ease the burden on health professionals who are also trying to treat Covid-19 patients.
“If we listen to public health action, not only would we be lessening the effects of Covid-19, but we would potentially have a very, very easy flu season if we combine that with vaccination against the flu,” Fauci said .
The skepticism about the Covid-19 vaccine is an “enormous” problem
As vaccines against Covid-19 are tested, the growing skepticism around them becomes an “enormous” problem, said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
It’s a problem, says Schaffner, “because once we’ve developed a vaccine we obviously want people to accept it, but skepticism grows … in the general population.”
U.S. health experts have previously said that it is likely that many Americans will reject the Covid-19 vaccine once one becomes widespread. Over the summer, former US surgeon general Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN that if a vaccine was available, half of Americans would not get it because of a lack of trust.
And now 62% of Americans believe political pressure from the Trump administration will cause the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to accelerate approval of a Covid-19 vaccine before Election Day. This is the result of a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. If a Covid-19 vaccine was ready and available for free before the upcoming elections, only 54% of respondents said they wouldn’t get one and 42% said they would.
Fauci said Thursday he would assist FDA scientists in their decision to approve a Covid-19 vaccine or give it emergency approval.
“These are well-respected, trained people who are way better at modeling and statistics and all that different stuff than any of us,” he said during an online conversation with CNN’s chief correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, which was organized by Emory University.
“If you look at it and say, ‘We really believe we should go this route,’ I would support the scientists. I would have to do that as a scientist, and I would express that.”
CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas and Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.