Dr. Fauci talks increase in US coronavirus cases

The top infectious disease expert and member of the White House task force talks to “GMA” about the major milestone of deaths worldwide as the U.S. reports increases in 33 states.
4:08 | 09/28/20

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Transcript for Dr. Fauci talks increase in US coronavirus cases
Now to the coronavirus emergency. We are nearing 1 million deaths worldwide from the virus. Overall nearly 33 million global cases and here in the U.S. 33 states are now reporting an increase in cases and four setting a record for hospitalizations. Joining us now is Dr. Fauci, a member of the coronavirus task force. Thank you for being with us. In addition to the state numbers we have other disturbing news. In August you said the U.S. Needed to get to 10,000 cases per day to be -- to get some control over the virus. Right now we're averaging more than 40,000 new cases a day. How would you describe where we are as a nation right now? Well, we're not in a good place with regard to what I said back then. As we get into the fall and the went, you really want the level of community spread to be as low as you possibly get it as more people -- as the weather gets colder here in the country and most parts of country, people will be going indoors. There's parts of the country doing well. As you mentioned correctly, there are states showing upticks in cases and increases in hospitalizations in some states. I hope not, but we very well might see increases in deaths. That's really something that I had discussed sometime ago, it's something you don't want to be in a position like that as the weather starts getting cold. We need to intensify the public health measures we talk about all the time. With all you just said and where we are now as a nation, what do you make of Florida's decision to ease the restrictions opening up bars and restaurants? That's very concerning to me. We have always said that, myself and Dr. Deborah birx, the coordinator of the task force, that's something we need to be careful about. When you're dealing with community spread and you have the congregate setting where people get together particularly without masks you're asking for trouble. Now is the time to double down. I don't mean close. When I say that, people get concerned we're talking about shutting down. We're not talking about shutting anything down. We're talking common sense public health measures we've been talking about all along. We're not in great shape to be heading into the colder months. You said no one is talking about a shutdown. What would it take for you to advocate one again? I would like to not go there. It causes so many issues and problems. People are exhausted from that and are pushing back. If things explode, you have to consider that. We want to do everything we possibly can to avoid an absolute shutdown. Get the cases under control by the common sense types of things that we've been talking about all along, the public health measures. Dr. Fauci, we're nearing a grim milestone. 1 million deaths globally. The world health organization said it would not be impossible to double that number before we get a vaccine. What's your take on that prediction? I got to be careful with potential predictions. They tend to sometimes inappropriately alarm people. You have to take it very seriously. The numbers globally are very serious. If you're going to try, which you should try, to open up the economy and get things back to normal, if you do it in a prudent way, a prudent way means focus on the things that are important, you can open up businesses. When you start congregating at bars without masks or settings where people are crowded indoors without masks, that's asking for trouble. Dr. Fauci, we appreciate your time. Good to be with you. Thank you for having me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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