Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical adviser to President Biden, said the U.S. should “absolutely not” relax restrictions because daily case numbers are not low enough.
Fauci said on the Thursday broadcast of the “CBS Evening News” the U.S. is marking an average of 60,000 new cases daily, a rate unacceptably high.”
“That is risky for triggering another surge,” he said, CNN reported.
Fauci said when cases fall below 10,000 per day is when it will be comfortable to ease restraints such as wearing masks. However, he offered a positive outlook, saying vaccinations are increasing nationally, especially among the elderly and said it is fine for grandparents who have been inoculated to hug their grandchildren if they are healthy.
Fauci made his comments one year after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a worldwide pandemic. He said measures to thwart the virus’s spread in the U.S. could have been stronger if earlier public health officials realized how transmissible the coronavirus was.
“If we had known that fully early on, there likely would have been differences in how we approached it,” he said, CNN reported.
As of Friday, the U.S. has 29.3 million coronavirus cases and over 531,000 virus-related deaths, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker. So far, the nation has administered roughly 98 million of its 131 million available vaccine doses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.