Dozens of states are seeing an upward trend in new Covid-19 cases – and the pandemic could worsen as a widespread model’s latest forecast predicts an additional 181,000 deaths in the US by February.
“I hope these numbers … make the American public realize that we really can’t let this happen – because it’s getting worse and worse. And that’s the worst that can happen when we get into the cooler for months,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases.
Fauci says he is concerned that some people think officials are asking too much, like reintroducing measures associated with restaurant and business running.
It’s the same things you’ve heard before that can be effective – wear face covering, don’t get too close to others, wash your hands often, don’t take part in a large group, he said.
“We don’t have to do anything more complicated – and you would be a huge part of preventing overvoltages or even reversing the overvoltages that are going on,” said Fauci.
The death toll could nearly double to about 400,000 by February, according to the University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics and Assessment.
Former CDC director Dr. Richard Besser said it was up to all Americans to make sure that somber projections don’t come true.
The trend is not just a US problem; According to the World Health Organization, the total number of cases reported worldwide has hit a record in each of the past four days.
31 states see more cases
Once again, most of the country is in trouble.
“These are extremely alarming trends and warning bells should be ringing across the country,” said emergency medical officer Dr. Leana Wen.
“Some will say, ‘Look, we have more and more cases because we test more.’ But we also know that in more than 15 states the test positivity rate is over 10% – which means that we don’t do nearly enough tests. ”
In addition, many people have no idea where they got infected with the virus.
“Many parts of the country report that 50% or more of their cases cannot be traced back to a single infectious source – which also means there is a high prevalence in the community,” Wen said.
“We know what’s next … we’re going to get more and more hospitalizations,” she said.
“Hospitals could be overwhelmed again. And then we’re not just talking about patients with coronavirus who may be in trouble. We’re also talking about other patients who may have had heart attacks, strokes and car accidents and find a situation that is truly untenable. ”
Nobody is off the hook – not even places that have improved
But residents of these states can’t be disappointed, said White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx.
“We are seeing these early proposals here in the Northeast and what we wanted to make clear are the measures that need to be taken on a personal level this time around in our private homes and not just in public spaces,” Birx said Friday at a briefing in Massachusetts.
She said people need to learn from the summer outbreaks in the south, where seemingly harmless gatherings helped spread the virus.
“People gave up their vigilance when they were with friends and family. And they took their masks off. And they shared dinner or they shared drinks inside. And these are becoming spreading events,” Birx said.
WHO: A study showing that viruses can live on surfaces for 28 days has limitations
On Monday, the World Health Organization looked at a recent study that showed that coronavirus can survive on surfaces for up to 28 days.
The study “looked at samples with very high viral loads” and was not conducted under “real conditions,” said WHO infectious disease epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove.
“It was done in the dark, which means there was no UV light from what you would see in normal real-world situations,” she said.
“It was found that the virus can remain viable for 28 days at 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) and 24 hours at 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).”
Van Kerkhove said while this experiment does not mimic real world conditions, WHO investigated the study.
“We use this information to study our disinfectants,” said Van Kerkhove. “The good news is that this virus can be disinfected – with disinfectants, with chlorine … very, very quickly.”
This pandemic is estimated by experts to cost $ 16 trillion
The estimated cost of the pandemic in the United States could exceed $ 16 trillion, according to an article published Monday in medical journal JAMA.
That’s roughly 90% of the United States’ annual gross domestic product, the authors said.
The estimate is based on the “optimistic assumption” that the pandemic will be essentially contained by the fall of 2021, wrote David Cutler, economics professor at Harvard University, and Lawrence Summers, president emeritus of Harvard University.
They estimate that the combined costs of mortality, morbidity, mental illness and direct economic loss exceed the costs of conventional recessions and even the Iraq war – and are more comparable to 50 years of global climate change.
Although there is no price that can apply to a human life, the authors believe that the authors have developed standard methods to measure these losses. At a conservative value of $ 7 million per life, “the economic cost of premature death expected in the next year is estimated at $ 4.4 trillion,” the article said.
The authors say the long-term complications for those who survive Covid-19 will cost $ 2.6 trillion for cases that are predicted for the next year.
“In general, the immense financial loss from COVID-19 indicates a fundamental rethinking of the government’s role in preparing for pandemics,” the article reads.
CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas, Jaqueline Howard, Shelby Lin Erdman, Leanna Faulk and Amanda Watts contributed to this report.