The nation’s top infectious disease expert says the U.S. is currently on a trajectory in its Indian ‘Delta’ Covid outbreak that is similar to the one seen in the UK earlier this year.
In a conversation with the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Tuesday, Dr Anthony Fauci discussed the recent surge in America, where average cases have risen 266 percent in the last three weeks from 23,000 per day to 85,000.
Meanwhile, in Britain, daily cases have hit a five-week low after peaking around 54,000 in mid-July.
Fauci said the U.S. is seeing a rise in people getting vaccinated, but that is likely to have a delayed effect on case rates.
‘Since an acceleration of vaccines doesn’t give a result until several weeks after, we are already on a trajectory that looks strikingly similar to the sharp incline that the UK saw,’ he explained.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and infectious Diseases also predicted that the U.S. would see as many as 200,000 cases a day before infections start to decline.
Dr Anthony Fauci said on Tuesday (above) that the U.S is currently on a trajectory in its recent surge of COVID-19 cases that is ‘strikingly similar’ to the outbreak seen in the UK
Coronavirus infections in Britain peaked at 54,000 in mid-July and have since declined to a five-week low of 21,691 recorded on Tuesday, while the U.S. has been about three to four weeks behind
‘Remember, we went from an average of about 12 to 15,000 cases a day to 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 – we’re up to 70 now,’ Fauci said.
‘We are going to be between 100 and 200,000 cases before this thing starts to turn around.’
Fauci’s predictions are similar to those made by UK Secretary of State for Health Sajid Javid.
When Britain was in the midst of its Delta-driven surge last month, Javid projected that cases in the UK would reach as high as 100,000 per day before declining.
However, COVID-19 infections never surpassed 54,674, recorded on July 16, before seeing a decline.
Meanwhile, Britain’s daily Covid cases fell to a five-week low on Tuesday.
Figures from the Department of Health show that 21,691 virus-related infections were confirmed in the last 24 hours.
This figure is down 7.7 percent compared to last Tuesday and the lowest number of daily cases seen since late June.
Experts say warmer weather and a change in behavior is more likely to be behind the rise in cases, such as the end of the Euro 2020 soccer tournament and schools closing for summer break.
‘The rise in cases was partly attributed to the Euro football tournament and social events around watching those matches,’ Dr Stuart Ray, a professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, told DailyMail.com in an interview last week.
Fauci says he believes the U.S. will see average cases reach as high as 200,000 per day before infection start declining. Cases currently sit at an average of 85,000 per day
Similar projections were made for the UK during its surge last month but cases never reached that high
‘So is the decline due to a shortage of susceptible people or is there just changes in behavior? My guess is changes in behavior. The nice thing in that is it shows people that changes in behavior can change the course of the pandemic.’
Meanwhile, Fauci said the rise in cases in the U.S. shows the importance of getting vaccinated against the virus.
‘In order to make sure that by the time we get into the fall we don’t continue to accelerate but turn around and start coming down acutely, we’ve got to get those 93 million people who are eligible to be vaccinated, who are not getting vaccinated,’ h said.
Last week, former U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb said he believes the U.S. is further along in its surge than some experts realize.
‘If the UK is turning the corner, it’s a pretty good indication that maybe we’re further into this than we think and maybe we’re two or three weeks away from starting to see our own plateau here in the United States,’ he told CNBC’s Squawk Box.