Coronavirus cases continue to spike nationwide as many states begin implementing tighter restrictions and returning to “stay at home” advisories in an attempt to curb the spread.
According to data from John Hopkins University, the U.S. clocked in 154,400 new cases on Thursday, setting a third-straight record for one-day spikes.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, blamed a “number of factors” for the rising numbers.
He cited the main reason as people being fatigued with following public health rules and instructions.
He noted that it’s a growing concern as the country approaches Thanksgiving. The the holiday is a time for many to travel and visit with family and friends, causing the virus to spread.
In a previous interview, he urged people to remain “careful and prudent” about gathering with family especially if members are older in age or have underlying conditions.
Fauci said that his three children won't be heading to Washington to spend the holiday with him and his wife, for the same reasons he's telling others to avoid Thanksgiving blowout bashes.
“If we do the things that are simple public health measures, that soaring will level and start to come down,” he explained to CBS’ “This Morning.”
Fauci continued to emphasize the importance of wearing a face mask, practicing social distancing, and washing hands frequently.
“You add that to the help of a vaccine, we can turn this around. It is not futile,” he added.
Fauci also stressed the need to “pull more testing into the community” to identify those who are asymptomatic but still spreading the virus.
Despite President Donald Trump’s claims that increased testing drives a rise in cases, the data doesn’t support it. CNBC found testing increased roughly 8.3% week-to-week while cases outpaced that with a rise of 32%.
Epidemiologists also noted that positive cases help determine whether an outbreak is expanding and if enough testing is being conducted.
Previously, Fauci said the high statistics don’t bode well for the country as we head into the winter months.
"You can't enter into the cool months of the fall and the cold months of the winter with a high community infection baseline," Fauci said during a virtual event with John Hopkins.
In early October, he said that despite growing cases, he wasn’t ready to support a national lockdown, adding, the pandemic would have to get “really, really bad” before he could advise that drastic change.
“So we want to use public health measures, not to get in the way of opening the economy, but to being a safe gateway to opening the economy,” Fauci said. “So instead of having an opposition: Open up the economy [to] get jobs back, or shut down. No. Put ‘shut down,’ away and say, ‘We’re going to use public health measures to help us safely get to where we want to go.”