“I really do believe we’re rounding the corner and the vaccines are right there, but not even discussing vaccines and not discussing therapeutics, we’re rounding the corner,” Trump said.
Speaking with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday, Fauci said he does not agree with the President’s statements.
“We’re plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day, and the deaths of around 1,000,” Fauci told Mitchell.
He said test positivity is increasing in some regions of the country and people are spending more time indoors because of cooler weather.
“That’s not good for a respiratory-borne virus,” he said. “You don’t want to start off already with a baseline that’s so high.”
Fauci warned that the country needs to get the levels down lower “so that when you go into a more precarious situation, like the fall and the winter, you won’t have a situation where you really are at a disadvantage right from the very beginning.”
Fauci also said Friday the US might not return to pre-coronavirus life until the end of next year.
“I believe that we will have a vaccine that will be available by the end of this year, the beginning of next year,” he told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell — but with a caveat.
“By the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccinations, and you get the majority, or more, of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen to the mid or end of 2021,” he said.
“If you’re talking about getting back to a degree of normality which resembles where we were prior to Covid, it’s going to be well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021.”
“We need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy,” Fauci said.
“I keep looking at that curve and I get more depressed and more depressed about the fact that we never really get down to the baseline that I’d like,” he said.
As the weather gets colder, Americans will move indoors more, where the virus spreads more easily.
Where we stand now
Across the US, 28 states are reporting downward trends — including Florida and California — compared to the previous week, and 14 are steady.
An ensemble forecast from the CDC now projects that between 205,000 and 217,000 people in the US will die by October 3.
Non-symptomatic children can transmit virus, data show
Even children with mild or no symptoms can transmit Covid-19, according to contact tracing data from three Utah child care facilities released Friday.
Researchers said 12 children got Covid-19 in a child care location and transmitted it to at least 12 people outside, including household members.
They analyzed contact tracing data from 184 people with links to three child care centers in Salt Lake County from this April to July.
They found at least two children who had no symptoms not only had caught the virus but passed it to other people, including one mother who was hospitalized. One 8-month-old child spread the virus to both parents.
The researchers say that two of the facility outbreaks began with staff members who had household contacts with the virus.
Overall, children accounted for 13 of the 31 confirmed Covid-19 case linked to the facility, and all of the children had mild or no symptoms.
Here’s what will help
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, told CBS this week the likelihood a vaccine will be widely accessible this year is “extremely low.”
But until the US has a vaccine, there are still ways to help curb the spread of the virus.
Face coverings remain the most powerful tool to fight transmission.
Infected college students shouldn’t be sent home
The University of Texas at Austin announced this week three confirmed clusters on campus which collectively account for about 100 cases. San Diego State University confirmed almost 400 infections among students, after announcing a halt on in-person instruction.
And more than 1,300 Arizona State University students have tested positive since August 1.
Colleges and universities should try to isolate infected students instead of sending them home, Fauci has said.
“You send them back to their community, you will in essence be reseeding with individuals who are capable of transmitting infection, many communities throughout the country,” he said earlier this week.
“So it’s much, much better to have the capability to put them in a place where they could comfortably recover.”
CNN’s Amanda Watts, Lauren Mascarenhas and Shelby Lin Erdman contributed to this report.