Fauci: This Is Still the First Wave

Case numbers never fell to a low baseline, he says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2020 3:49 PM CDT
Fauci: This Is Still the First Wave
In this September 2020 photo provided by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, shows a bandage on his arm after receiving an influenza vaccine.   (NFID via AP)

Dr. Anthony Fauci says that while semantics isn't exactly the most important issue right now, he believes it is incorrect to say a "third wave" of coronavirus infections is happening. Cases are once again rising across the US, with daily case numbers exceeding records set during a spike in cases in July—but to call this the third wave would imply that the first wave receded to a low level at some point, which was never the case, Fauci tells Yahoo Finance. "I look at it more as an elongated and an exacerbation of the original first wave," Fauci says, noting that the number of new cases never fell much below 20,000 a day.

"We never really cleared and got down to a very low baseline, which I would consider to be less than 10,000 cases per day, maybe just a couple thousand a day," Fauci says. He says now, "we're at the highest baseline we've ever been, which is really quite precarious." Whether you want to call it a third wave or the first wave, "it's not good news," he says. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director says the agency's priority is now working to prevent severe cases of COVID-19 because trying to stop all infections is becoming an unrealistic goal, the Observer reports. In a BBC interview that aired Sunday, Fauci said that rather than having "turned a corner" in the pandemic as President Trump claimed in last week's debate, key indicators show things are "actually going in the wrong direction." (More coronavirus stories.)

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