The nation’s top infectious disease expert spoke virtually to a group of faculty and students Thursday at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Anthony Fauci says the nation’s COVID-19 infection count, death toll, and number of hospitalizations are stunning.
“The number are so extraordinary that we have become numb to them,” he says. “As of yesterday, there are 360,000 deaths. We have had a situation where we are now averaging between 200,000 and 300,000 new infections per day and between 2,000 and 3,000 deaths per day.”
He says every day is a new reckon for the number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus.
“There are some regions of the country that are really getting to the point of what we consider the unimaginable – where you actually have to triage and determine who is going to get take care of and who is not,” Fauci says.
Missouri reports today 416,758 coronavirus cases since March, 5,912 COVID-19 deaths, and 2,841 people in a Missouri hospital getting treated for the virus.
Fauci says the pandemic will get worse before it gets better due to recent holiday gatherings. But he says vaccinations will be the real gateway to life going back to normal.
According to Fauci, the most unexpected obstacle during the COVID-19 pandemic has been the lack of a uniform response. He says public health has been emersed in a divisive society during the pandemic – something he says he has not experienced before.
“There are regions of the country where hospitals are filled with people in intensive care units who are dying,” he says. “And the people in the community still feel it’s fake news, it’s a hoax, and it’s a conspiracy. That to me is unimaginable.”
He says the response has been as unimaginable as the rioters this week at the U.S. Capitol.
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