Anthony Fauci, the administration’s top infectious disease doctor, told a House panel on Tuesday that the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a “mixed bag,” adding that a new increase in cases is “disturbing.”
“In some respects, we’ve done very well,” Fauci said during an Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, specifically praising the way New York has been containing the worst outbreak in the country to date.
“However, in other areas of the country, we are now seeing a disturbing surge of infections that looks like it’s a combination, but one of the things is an increase in community spread. And that’s something I’m really quite concerned about,” Fauci said.
There are now about 30,000 new cases per day in the United States. The number of new cases had leveled off at about 20,000, and stayed there for weeks before rising this past weekend.
The rise in the U.S. comes as the Trump administration has sought to paint a rosier picture of the U.S. outlook. Both President Trump and Vice President Pence have inaccurately tried to attribute the increase in cases to more tests being performed.
The new spike in the U.S. is being driven in part by worsening outbreaks across the South and Southwest, including in Arizona, Texas, Florida and the Carolinas, even as the situation has greatly improved in once hard-hit states in the Northeast like New York and Massachusetts.
Many of the states now being hit hard were on the more aggressive side in reopening their economies.
“Right now, the next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surgings in Florida, in Texas, in Arizona, and in other states,” Fauci said on Tuesday.