- The latest coronavirus update from the White House coronavirus task force paints a particularly grim picture of where the US finds itself at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In a Q&A with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci tried to balance that news with some hopeful words.
- The 3-word promise from Dr. Fauci is that “this will end,” and will end sooner if everyone does their part — like wearing face masks.
- Dr. Fauci made it clear that things are as bad as they are right now, because of countless Americans who are their guard down and succumbing to pandemic fatigue.
After everything we’ve gone through this year, it is certainly regrettable and deeply frustrating that our own collective behavior has cast the US into the darkest days so far of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest weekly coronavirus update shared with states from the White House coronavirus task force paints a dark, ominous picture. It includes pleas to public health officials to work around any shortcomings in state and local health policies if they can (like the lack of a face mask mandate) as cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from the virus surge. Dated November 29, the reports declare that “The COVID risk to all Americans is at a historic high … The national daily COVID incidence after Memorial Day, but before the summer surge, was fewer than 25,000 new cases/day and is now more than 180,000 new cases/day; COVID inpatients then were fewer than 30,000 but are now more than 90,000; fatalities have more than doubled.” All of which is to say, no wonder health experts like White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledge the fear and uncertainty that have gripped the nation right now, during this stage of the pandemic, in his latest interviews and public comments. But he also tempers the negative with hopefulness — including three important words that he wants everyone to remember, especially now.
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During a Q&A session this week with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and broadcast on the social network, Dr. Fauci tried to offer what he called a word of wisdom, or as he put it “more ‘word of encouragement.’”
Three words, actually: “This will end.”
“We’ve got to hang in there together, and take care of each other,” Dr. Fauci said about the pandemic. “It will end. The vaccines are on the immediate horizon (to start) to be distributed in the month of December … as we get to the middle and end of December, we’re gonna start getting vaccines distributed. All through January, February, March, April.”[embedded content]
“So rather than getting discouraged, which is an understandable emotion to a terrible ordeal that we’ve all been through, hang in there. The end is in sight. It’s going to get better and better. And even though, as Mark pointed out, we’re on a really serious inflection of the curve, we can do something about blunting that curve by doing the fundamental public health measures that, as we do it, that curve will bend. It’ll start coming down.”
About that last part, by the way — the reason we haven’t yet blunted the curve, and things are in fact getting so much worse, is because … well, you already know the reason, don’t you?
Too many people have either let their guard down or succumbed to COVID fatigue. As a result, the latest data from Johns Hopkins University shows that there have now been more than 13.7 million coronavirus cases in the US since the pandemic began.
The things we have to keep doing, Dr. Fauci stresses, include uniform wearing of face masks, keeping at least six feet of distance from people outside your home, and avoiding crowds in congregate settings, in addition to not lingering in indoor spaces. “We have it within our power to get ourselves through this until we ultimately get a vaccine, which would be, you know, as we say — help is on the way, but it’s not here yet,” Dr. Fauci said. “So we can do these things and we can prevent an even further escalation.”
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