For about three hours, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other health experts testified before a Senate committee on President Trump's coronavirus response and the country's progress in reopening.
Their testimony came as at least 36 US states are seeing an increase in Covid-19 cases compared to the previous week.
In case you missed it, here's what you need to know:
- "Significant increases" in cases: Fauci said he is "very concerned" with the increase in cases in some parts of the country and said he wouldn’t be surprised if the US begins to see daily new cases coming in at 100,000 a day given current trends. He said he couldn't make an accurate prediction of the number of cases and deaths the country will see before the pandemic is over, but noted that “it’s going to be very disturbing, I will guarantee you that." Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, acknowledged that the country is seeing "significant increases" in the southeast and southwest regions. Redfield said hospitalizations are going up in 12 states, and as of this weekend, the daily death toll has increased in the state of Arizona.
- Officials urged the public to wear masks: Fauci and Redfield urged the public to wear face coverings as states continue to struggle to contain the virus. Fauci said "we recommend masks for everyone" and "masks are extremely important." Redfield singled out younger Americans in particular to deliver a message that they are not exempt from the necessity of wearing a mask.
- On reopening schools: Fauci said pool testing for coronavirus could be a helpful tool as schools look to reopen in the fall. He also said it is very important that children get back to school, but schools must open while following CDC guidelines. Fauci said that if a school is in an area where there is a certain amount of "infection dynamics," there are some things that can be "creatively done" including modifying the school's schedule, alternating days, morning versus evening and allowing under certain circumstances, online virtual lessons.
- Vaccine in the works: Fauci said there's "no guarantee" the US will develop a "safe and effective" Covid-19 vaccine — but experts are "aspirationally hopeful" there could be doses available to the public by next year.