(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Doctor Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert of infectious diseases, painted a grim picture for what America should expect next month if COVID-19 health measures are not followed during the holidays.
Speaking with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday, Fauci — the director of the National Institute of allergy and Infectious Diseases — warned, “Without substantial mitigation, the middle of January can be a really dark time for us.”
Fauci stressed that America has to maintain social distancing guidelines, hitting a benchmark between 75 to 80 percent, as vaccines roll out to help keep the rate of transmission low.
The NIH director predicts that, by April 2021, “the normal man and woman” may start receiving the vaccine.
Fauci’s warning about a dark January comes as the nation has increased the number of daily deaths, hitting a new record of a seven-day average of 2,171 for the first time. That is a 139 percent increase over the past month.
The nation reported an additional 15,000 fatalities over the past week.
This comes as the nation is reporting another surge in daily COVID-19 cases, averaging 191.736 new cases a day. This is the highest number ever reported since the virus was first detected in the country.
In the first five days of December, the nation confirmed an additional 1,018,657 COVID-19 cases — a number that took 100 days to hit at the start of the pandemic.
Hospitalizations are also surging, with a record number of over 101,000 individuals hospitalized — triple than the numbers reported two months. Between October and December, hospitalizations have risen by 223 percent.
COVID-19 has infected nearly 15 million Americans and has killed over 283,000, says Johns Hopkins University.