Fauci: Virus rampant in U.S. due to inadequate, patchwork shutdowns

Panel Chair Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) sought to contrast Covid-19 cases in the United States and Europe, where nations took a more centralized approach to restrictions. Responding to a chart Clyburn displayed, Fauci noted European countries shut down activities “to the tune of 95-plus percent of the country” and brought cases down to a much lower baseline for disease spread before reopening.

“We started off with a very difficult baseline of transmission that was going on when we tried to open up the country,” he said. “Then we saw an increase of cases to 20, 30, 50,000 and a couple of weeks ago it was up to 70,000 cases a day.”

Fauci also reiterated his belief that a coronavirus vaccine will be developed by the end of the year, citing promising new data from trials in animals and humans, and sought to assure the public that no corners were being cut.

“I know to some people this seems like it is so fast that there might be compromising of safety or scientific integrity,” he said. “I can tell you that is absolutely not the case.”

President Donald Trump also weighed in during the testimony, tweeting that Clyburn “doesn’t have a clue” and repeating the false claim that cases are higher in the U.S. because the U.S. tests more than any country.

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