Dr. Anthony Fauci joined KNX 1070 News Friday to discuss the virus spread of COVID-19, increased testing, wearing masks, the aggressive reopening of states, a vaccine, and how the pandemic has changed in the U.S.
Just today, Fauci joined the White House Coronavirus Taskforce which gave a briefing after nearly two months.
Fauci has said the change in the COVID-19 pandemic is a "paradigm shift" that has largely been driven by young people. The U.S. recorded an all-time daily high of 40,000 COVID-19 cases Friday.
"We are still in the middle of the first wave," Fauci said, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and someone who has been at the forefront of warning the country of the virus' spread. "We are all in this together, we are all interconnected with each other."
"This is an unusual disease. I've never seen a virus like this," Fauci said adding the virus has a range of symptoms among patients. Fauci also addressed the process of having an effective vaccine.
He speaks to KNX 1070 News as states like Florida and Texas backtrack and close down bars again and pause aggressive reopening. The COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have surpassed 2 million cases and more than 121,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention. It is the same week that the CDC has expanded its list of people at risk of severe COVID-19.
Fauci told KNX 1070 News his perspective where there's a situation in several states, including California, where there's a "disturbing trend in an uptick in cases at the community level."
"When you have it at the community level that means you don't really know what the source is and it becomes very difficult in the sense of how we try to put our arms around it and suppress these upsurges," he said.
He stressed the importance of ongoing testing.
"We need to flood the system not only with testing but we need to flood it with workers who understand the community and people that are trusted in the community to be able to figure out what's going on here," Fauci said to KNX 1070 News.
Fauci said "if we try to jump over the checkpoints that we put in, that we are going to get into trouble."
Fauci said the cause of what is going on right now is "multi-factorial." He said California Gov. Newsom has done a good job of abiding by the various checkpoints.
He stressed the importance of being cautious.
"But the fact is if you throw caution to the wind in some of these openings, we are only going to set ourselves back. We are all part of this dynamic process of an outbreak in our country and in the world and if we think that we are not contributing to it by being careless, then we are making a mistake," Fauci said. "We just gotta keep hammering that message."
Fauci addressed wearing masks in the U.S. which has been a point of contention across the nation:
"It's very frustrating when you see something like that where it's so clear that when you have the kinds of mitigations of avoiding crowds and wearing masks that are in the guidelines we put together. We know that that can contain the virus, there is scientific proof. If you are going to open up, you can't just jump over these checkpoints and throw caution to the wind," he said.
In Los Angeles County, the head of the County Public Health has urged people they are safer at home amid concern of growing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.