• The US is still "knee-deep in the first wave" of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday in an interview with National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins.
  • Fauci said the US is dealing with a serious issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
  • Fauci said the US was never able to bring cases down to a baseline like what happened in Europe.
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The United States' top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday that the country is still "knee-deep in the first wave" of the coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with the National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins, Fauci said: "We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this. And I would say, this would not be considered a wave. It was a surge, or a resurgence of infections superimposed upon a baseline."

As cases continue to surge, Fauci said the status of the pandemic in the US is "really not good."

He added that having more than 50,000 new daily coronavirus cases several times in the past week was "a serious situation that we have to address immediately."

According to The New York Times, states like Texas and Idaho also saw record high cases recorded over a single day on Monday. Cases are also surging in Florida, the Carolinas, California, and Arizona.

Arizona reached more than 101,000 coronavirus cases on Monday, with more than 3,300 new daily cases recorded.

Dr. Sandra Till, a pulmonologist and critical care intensivist at Banner University Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, is not just worried about the community toll this surge could have, but the strain it's putting on healthcare providers, some of whom are working 90 hours a week to provide adequate care to critical coronavirus patients.

"This is not, I don't think it's something that a lot of, nurses, respiratory therapists, and doctors - we probably can't work at this pace for a prolonged period of time," she said. "You can only sprint so long if the thing has to be like a marathon or an ultra marathon."

"So, you know, that's why flattening the curve is so important, to preserve us because we're the ones who need to take care of the sick patients," she continued. "And if we're forced to sprint and not have chances to recover, that can have really detrimental consequences in the future."

In his interview, Fauci stressed the need for people to wear masks and physical distance to help limit the spread and slow the pace. He also said, "avoid crowds."

"We're going to continue to be in a lot of trouble," Fauci said, according to CNN. "And there's going to be a lot of hurt if that does not stop."

Fauci also compared the US to Europe on the handling of the pandemic. Countries like Italy and Spain were hard hit by the outbreak during the initial months of the pandemic, but have been able to bring their case numbers and death toll down.

"The European Union as an entity, it went up and then came down to baseline," Fauci said. "Now they're having little blips, as you might expect, as they try to reopen. We went up, never came down to baseline, and now it's surging back up. So it's a serious situation that we have to address immediately."

The US is close to reaching 3 million reported coronavirus cases, with more than 130,000 deaths as on Monday, according to data from John Hopkins. It leads the world in the number of cases and deaths, and the main model used to estimate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak anticipates more than 175,000 deaths by October 1.

According to CNBC, last week Fauci warned that the US was not "in total control" of its outbreak and that cases could reach more than 100,000 a day if it's not brought under control.

"I can't make an accurate prediction but it's going to be very disturbing," Fauci told senators at a hearing held by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. "We are now having 40-plus-thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around, and so I am very concerned."

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