COVID-19 deaths are likely to go down this winter, but the U.S. shouldn’t declare victory in the pandemic yet, the country’s top infectious disease expert said on Sunday.
Despite falling rates, the virus can bounce back, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in television appearances.
“I strongly suspect that you’re going to start seeing the deaths go down similar to the hospitalizations,” Fauci told “Full Court Press with Greta Van Susteren.”
“How quickly they go down and how thoroughly they go down is going to depend a lot on a number of circumstances, which will be influenced by things like the colder weather, people doing things indoors, how well they go by the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines,” he said in the interview, which aired Sunday.
New COVID cases and hospitalizations have been decreasing nationwide. The county had a seven-day average of 95,237 new cases as of Friday, down from 121,543 two weeks earlier — a decrease of more than 20% — according to USAFacts.org.
The U.S. is still seeing about 1,700 COVID-19 deaths per day, though the rate has started to go down too.
Still, Fauci cautioned Americans not to let their guard down as Halloween and the holiday season approach.
“If you look at the history of the surges and the diminutions in cases over a period of time, they can bounce back,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
With about 68% of adults fully vaccinated, Fauci reiterated exhortations to get jabbed.
Now is “a good time to reflect on why (getting vaccinated) is important,” he said.
Fauci said he’d like to see the daily case number drop to around 10,000 before authorities consider dropping mask requirements in indoor settings.