Dr. Fauci warned that Christmas could create another COVID-19 surge.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the past three decades, told CBS News during the Milken Institute Future of Health Summit. As hospitals await an increase in cases after Thanksgiving, he said, “For the first time in more than 30 years, I’m not spending the Christmas holidays with my daughters.”
That post-Thanksgiving increase is expected to happen right before “the Christmas, Hanukkah potential surge,” he said. Speaking to CNN on Monday, Fauci warned that Americans are facing a “critical time” and the next potential surge over the holidays could lead to a dark January, “This may be even more compounded because it’s a longer holiday.”
In a video stream with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (N.Y., D.) on Monday, Fauci issued a stark warning to Americans, and said 10 people indoors during the holidays is likely too many: “We could start to see things start to get really bad in the middle of January, not only for New York state but for any state or city.” That, he added, “could be a really dark time for us.”
The U.S. is still braced for the post-Thanksgiving uptick in cases. “After an event, we would expect to see an increase in new cases in one to two weeks, an increase in hospitalizations from two to three weeks, and an increase in bad outcomes from four to six weeks,” Dr. Thomas Russo, the chief of infectious diseases at the University at Buffalo, told WGRZ 2 Television over the weekend.
The U.S. set a record for COVID-19-related hospitalizations this month with 100,100 patients, and the number of people with the virus in intensive-care units surpassing 20,000.
Risk factors to consider before attending a gathering include whether there is community spread of COVID-19; exposure during travel; the location and duration of the gathering, and whether it’s indoors; the number of attendees and capacity for physical distancing; and attendees’ preventive behaviors before and during the gathering, such as mask wearing.
The WHO estimates that 16% of people are asymptomatic and can transmit the coronavirus and advises wearing masks. As of Tuesday, 67.6 million people worldwide had contracted COVID-19, with 1,545,723 deaths, with 14.9 million cases in the U.S. and 283,743 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.
and the University of Oxford said their coronavirus vaccine is up to 90% effective when administered as a half dose, and then a full dose one month later. Effectiveness falls to 62% when two full doses are given one month apart.
It was later revealed that the initial half-dose, deemed as the more effective option by the company than two full doses, was given accidentally to participants. They were also 55 or under. That age group was not initially disclosed when AstraZeneca said the half and full dosage was more effective. The firm defended these errors and apparent lack of transparency.
announced progress in a vaccine, and later said a final analysis showed 95% rather than 90% efficacy. Meanwhile, Moderna
said its vaccine candidate was 94.5% effective.
Johnson & Johnson
; Merck & Co.
; and Sanofi
are also working on fast-track coronavirus vaccines. Moderna, Sanofi and AztraZeneca’s vaccines do not need to be kept ultra-low temperatures.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
recently broke 30,000 on vaccine news and progress in the transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden. The DJIA and the S&P 500 Index
closed lower Monday, while the Nasdaq Composite
closed marginally higher, buoyed by reports of a possible compromise between lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle on a new COVID-related stimulus bill, and progress with vaccines.