KEY POINTS

  • Fauci reiterated his warning about a second wave of the pandemic striking during the fall and winter seasons
  • Fauci repeatedly warned about a second wave, citing the cold air and general shift indoors as two reasons coronavirus could thrive
  • Some states, like Louisiana, continued pushing forward with reopening but officials said they were monitoring for new surges closely following Labor Day weekend

Dr. Anthony Fauci reiterated his warnings that the coronavirus pandemic will likely worsen during the fall and winter and said everyone should be prepared to “hunker down” should a new national surge hit during flu season.

“We need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it's not going to be easy,” Fauci said during a Harvard Medical School panel Thursday. “We've been through this before. Don't ever, ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic. And don't try and look at the rosy side of things.”

As of Friday, the U.S. over 6.42 million confirmed cases and over 192,000 reported deaths from coronavirus.

John Hopkins reported 37,487 new confirmed cases and 501 reported deaths for Thursday. It's the third-straight day cases have risen after the reported number of new dailycases dropped to its lowest number since June on Monday with 24,257 cases. Tuesday saw a small rise with 26,387 new cases and a sharper increase Wednesday with 34,256 new cases.

This is hardly a new warning from Fauci, who has repeatedly warned of a second case wave since the pandemic exploded in the U.S. between March and April.

He previously said the second wave was “inevitable” and would like hit during the fall and winter seasons as the seasons would provide ideal conditions for the virus to spread. He also warned if the proper “countermeasures” weren’t in place, the second wave could possibly be as bad as or worse than the initial surge.

“If by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well,” Fauci said in April. “If we don't do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter.”

However, Fauci took it a step further during Thursday’s panel and said the average number of new daily cases was “unacceptably high” heading into the fall. He said its proof the U.S. was still gripped by the pandemic’s first wave.

“We're right around 40,000 new cases, that's an unacceptably high baseline,” Fauci said. “We've got to get it down, I'd like to see it 10,000 or less, hopefully less.”

Amid Fauci’s warnings, some states are continuing to push forward with their reopening. One state set to take another step forward in reopening is Louisiana, which has been remained at Phase 2 of reopening since June.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday the state will begin Phase 3 of its reopening plan Friday, when dditional details about what it entails will be released. as well. However, he cautioned this step could be paused or rolled back if cases begin to surge due to Labor Day weekend and ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricane Laura.

Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, has warned that the country is still 'knee-deep' in its first coronavirus wave Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, has warned that the country is still 'knee-deep' in its first coronavirus wave Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / POOL