Fauci: COVID-19 cases in the US could reach 200,000 cases a day in latest outbreak

Dr. Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci. AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool
  • New COVID-19 cases in the US could soon double to upwards of 200,000 per day, Dr. Anthony Fauci told McClatchy.
  • The seven-day rolling average of daily COVID-19 cases was at 89,463 as of Tuesday, CDC data shows.
  • Coronavirus cases have been surging in a “very steep fashion,” largely among those who are unvaccinated, Fauci said.
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The number of new COVID-19 cases in the US could double to up 200,000 per day in the coming weeks, warned Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert.

Cases, fueled by the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus, have been surging in a “very steep fashion” largely among those who are unvaccinated, Fauci told McClatchy in a report published Wednesday.

“What we’re seeing, because of this increase in transmissibility, and because we have about 93 million people in this country who are eligible to get vaccinated who don’t get vaccinated – that you have a significant pool of vulnerable people,” Fauci said.

According to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the seven-day rolling average of daily COVID-19 cases was at 89,463 as of Tuesday.

“Remember, just a couple of months ago, we were having about 10,000 cases a day,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “I think you’re likely going to wind up somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 cases.”

Fauci continued, “If we don’t crush the outbreak to the point of getting the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated, then what will happen is the virus will continue to smolder through the fall into the winter.”

If another coronavirus variant “comes along that has an equally high capability of transmitting but also is much more severe, then we could really be in trouble,” Fauci said.

Fauci, who is President Joe Biden’s chief medical advisor, explained Thursday on ABC News’ “Good Morning America,” that when you give the virus “ample opportunity to mutate, you may sooner or later get another variant, and it is possible that that variant might be in some respects worse than the already very difficult variant we’re dealing with now, which is a major reason why you want to completely suppress the circulation of the virus in the community.”

According to the CDC, 49.8% of the total population in the US is fully vaccinated, while 58% of Americans have received one vaccine dose.