In a Thursday appearance on Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that, despite the devastating death toll from COVID-19 this week, there are “some glimmers of hope” related to the pandemic’s push through the United States.
Fauci, the government’s top infectious-disease expert, cited the falling number of hospitalizations and intubations in New York, where Governor Andrew Cuomo has suggested a “plateauing” of the outbreak. Asked if what’s happening in New York constitutes a “flattening of the curve,” Fauci was cautious, but optimistic.
“I’m always very cautious about jumping the gun and saying we have turned the corner, but I think we are really looking at the beginning of that,” he said.
Fauci also said the social-distancing measures taken across the country are reducing the projected number of COVID-19 deaths. “It is highly likely that we’re having a definite positive effect by the mitigation things that we’re doing, this physical separation,” he said. “So I believe we’re going to see a downturn in that, and it looks more like the 60,000 than the 100,000 to 200,000.”
Still, Fauci warned that leaders have to be careful not to quickly loosen restrictions. “We still have to put our foot on the accelerator when it comes to the mitigation and the physical separation,” he said. Asked if things will be “back to normal” by summer, Fauci said he hopes that’s the case. “I’m cautiously optimistic that we’re going to start seeing that turn around and that curve not only flattening, but coming down.”