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17 Jun, 2020 05:36

Fauci says US ‘nowhere near herd immunity,’ spike in coronavirus cases NOT due to increased testing

Fauci says US ‘nowhere near herd immunity,’ spike in coronavirus cases NOT due to increased testing

Anthony Fauci, a top US health official, warned that the country hasn’t seen the end of Covid-19, but said that while some are engaging in “risky” behaviors, a “second wave” outbreak can be prevented with the right precautions.

“When I look at the TV and I see pictures of people congregating at bars when the location they are indicates they shouldn’t be doing that, that’s very risky,” Dr Fauci told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. Though there’s been much talk of a “second wave” of the virus, he clarified that the US was still in its first.

“We’re still in a first wave,” he said.

But a major resurgence of the illness is not yet a foregone conclusion, Fauci said, telling NPR in a separate sit-down that a second wave can be avoided so long as “we do what we need to do to prevent it from happening.” Part of those precautions could mean ramped up containment policies, but the health expert said new shutdowns are not an “all or none” choice, arguing each region should tailor restrictions to their own unique situation.

Also on rt.com ‘Nightmare’ coronavirus outbreak ‘isn’t over yet,’ Fauci warns as US reopens & crowded protests rage on

Though the White House has tried to explain a recent spike in cases around the country by citing expanded screenings for the virus, Fauci said that is unlikely, arguing the surge in cases “cannot be explained by increased testing.” Declining to single out any state by name, he noted that people in regions were not following social distancing guidelines and other health advice, urging residents to “protect yourself,” as the country is “nowhere near herd immunity.”

Discussion of a new wave of the virus comes as US President Donald Trump prepares to resume his campaign rallies, with an event in Oklahoma set for Saturday – his first since the pandemic took hold in the US. The upcoming rally has made some residents nervous, however, prompting two local attorneys to file a lawsuit seeking to block the event unless it strictly adheres to social distancing. The request was shot down by an Oklahoma judge on Tuesday, who did not explain the decision publicly.

Also on rt.com CDC reminds every public event is Covid-19 risk… after weeks of mass protests & just as Trump is set to hold own rally

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