In an interview on “America’s Newsroom” with host Sandra Smith, Hotez noted that while some areas — like the Northeast’s “partial success story” — are “clearly doing better” than others, southern states are seeing a “very steep and very worrisome rise.”
“Especially in our big metropolitan areas: Houston, Dallas, Austin, Phoenix,” he said. “And, I think we’re going to need some new strategies to contain this virus.”
The U.S. is still seeing roughly 20,000 new cases a day, however, there’s a range from state to state.
While northeastern states like New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts — which among them accounted for a quarter of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. — are seeing a substantial slowing of new cases, southern states and California have all reported record spikes in new infections
Every day for the past two weeks Texas has set a new record for hospitalizations. According to Politico, on Saturday Florida reported a record 9,585 new cases. Arizona reported 3,591 new cases, seemingly matching a single-day record set earlier this week. Nevada, Georgia, and South Carolina also reported a record number of cases over the weekend.
During Tuesday testimony before the Senate’s HELP Committee, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that he “would not be surprised” if the U.S. has 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day “if this does not turn around” and that “it could get very bad.”
Smith asked Hotez what some new potential strategies to mitigate the pandemic could be.
“Well, you know, we’re trying to do some surgical things. That’s the term I use which means, you know, shutting down the bars, rolling back some of the restaurants,” he replied.
“The question is will that be adequate or do we have to take more aggressive steps in terms of reducing contact and really just trying to contain this? Because the numbers don’t look very good in terms of the level of acceleration and also the hospitalizations and ICU admissions are starting to pile up,” Hotez added.
“So, we…want to avoid a situation that New York [had] faced back in March and April,” he stated.