(CNN) — Some health experts warn that the United States may be on the cusp of another spike in COVID-19 cases if Americans aren’t careful, just as the country rushes to vaccinate more people.
There are two key things the United States can do to prevent more infections, hospitalizations and deaths, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN.
“A) you keep pushing and doubling down on public health measures, and B) you do everything you can to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly and as quickly as possible,” said America’s leading infectious disease expert. Saturday.
On the vaccine front, the United States has done “extremely well,” Fauci said. The country reported a new record over the weekend with more than 4 million doses of covid-19 vaccines administered in 24 hours, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). English).
“A record day of reporting!” + [de] 4.08 million doses administered over yesterday’s total », wrote Saturday on Twitter Dr. Cyrus Shahpar, Director of Covid-19 Data at the White House. “It is also the first time that it has averaged more than 3 million per day in the past week. Millions are joining together to accelerate our progress towards controlling the pandemic! ‘
Despite the record pace of vaccinations, there are still not enough vaccinated Americans to control the spread of the virus, experts warn. So far, about 31.4% of Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and only 18% of the population is fully vaccinated, CDC data shows.
That’s why experts urge you to continue security measures for now.
“We say it over and over and we need people, we need governors and mayors and others to be able to say we are not out of this yet,” Fauci said. “People say, ‘Well, they just want to confine us forever.’ No, this is not going to last forever because every day that four million, three million people are vaccinated, they are getting closer and closer to control ».
One expert compared the current state of covid-19 in the United States to a “category 5 hurricane status, relative to the rest of the world.”
“At this point, we will see in the next two weeks, the highest number of cases reported worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic. In terms of the United States, we are just at the beginning of this increase, we haven’t even started to see it yet, ”said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, on Sunday. Meet the Press, de NBC.
He warned that the country is now in the cycle where the Upper Midwest is starting a fourth wave.
“I think it was a wake-up call for everyone yesterday when Michigan reported 8,400 new cases, and now we’re seeing a growing number of serious illnesses, ICU hospitalizations, in people in their 30s and 50s who haven’t been vaccinated,” Osterholm said. .
However, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb says that the amount of immunity in the American population may help prevent another surge.
“I think there is enough immunity in the population not to see a true fourth wave of infection,” he told CBS on Face the Nation, on Sunday.
Gottlieb, who is also on the board of Pfizer, said he thinks that with the vaccination rate, along with the number of Americans who have already been infected, there are “about 200 million Americans who already have some level of immunity in they”.
More than a dozen state leaders have eased restrictions in recent weeks, while several have lifted mask-wearing mandates.
“What we’re saying is double, just hold on a little longer,” Fauci added, “and the vaccine, and the vaccines of the people in this country will nullify the rise of the virus. There is no doubt that the vaccine will win.
States that sound the alarm due to the increase of covid-19
Officials in several states have reported alarming data.
Michigan is in the midst of another wave driven by increased gatherings, more people moving, economic reopens and outbreaks in some schools and prisons, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s medical director, told CNN late last month.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also told CNN last week that another reason the state is seeing a large number of cases is “a high proportion of variants.” Michigan has reported the second highest number of cases of the most contagious B.1,1.7 variant, according to CDC data, behind Florida.
“These are much more contagious and we are seeing that either in youth sports or in the reinstatement of some of our restaurants,” said Whitmer.
On Saturday, Michigan reported 8,413 new cases of Covid-19, the most in a day since Dec. 7.
In neighboring Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine also raised the alarm. Cases are also starting to rise there, according to a statement from the Governor’s Office.
And variant activity is also on the rise, according to Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, medical director for the Ohio Department of Health.
“Ohio is still in a race against a virus that is now more contagious and is on our heels,” Vanderhoff said. “We can win this race as long as we don’t waver; as long as we go ahead with consistent masking and vaccination. ‘
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown also expressed concern – Friday – about the latest numbers of cases and hospitalizations in the state.
“Clearly, in Oregon and across the country, the fourth wave of this virus is on our doorstep,” Brown said in a statement. “While the case numbers in Oregon fortunately have not matched those in other states seeing big spikes, our numbers are increasing and we are on alert again.”
Vermont officials said Friday they were concerned that the spike in COVID-19 cases their state is experiencing could lead to more hospitalizations and deaths.
“My optimism is for the future, and the future is very close. But when it comes to the present, frankly, I’m very concerned, ”said Dr. Mark Levine, state Health Commissioner.
The role that covid vaccines will play
Experts and state leaders have stressed that vaccines against covid-19 will be the fastest way for the country to go towards normality.
As vaccination numbers rise in the United States, the CDC is releasing more guidelines on what fully vaccinated Americans can do.
On Friday, the agency released a long-awaited update to the travel guide for fully vaccinated people, removing some testing and quarantine recommendations. The CDC considers someone to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last required dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Fully vaccinated people can travel at low risk to themselves, said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, but travel is not yet recommended today, while the United States sees a growing number of COVID-19 cases. .
The agency also said that people who have been fully vaccinated against the virus could safely gather for Easter week, both indoors and without masks.
Meanwhile, different parts of the country are navigating the role vaccines will play in returning to normal.
Cornell University announced that it intends to require covid-19 vaccination for students returning to the Ithaca, Geneva and Cornell Tech campuses in the fall of 2021. The university said that while it will accept medical and religious exemptions , “The expectation will be that our campuses and classrooms will be made up mostly of vaccinated people, which will greatly reduce the risk of infection for all.”
That announcement comes just days after Rutgers University said it will require students who attend classes in person this fall to be vaccinated against covid-19.
Meanwhile, in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a decree that bans the use of covid-19 passports in the state. His order prohibits any government entity from issuing vaccine passports and prevents companies from requiring such documentation.
The governor cited concerns about freedom and privacy as the main basis for that action, arguing that the implementation and enforcement of vaccine passports “would create two classes of citizens based on vaccines.”
“Individual vaccination records against COVID-19 are private health information and should not be shared by mandate,” the order says.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves says he does not support vaccine passports either, and that the low vaccination rates in his state (ranking 42nd out of 50 in vaccinations per capita) are due to “vaccine vacillation.”
“We need to make sure we educate our people and let them know that this vaccine is safe and, although it is under an emergency use authorization, it has gone through clinical trials with literally tens of thousands of people who have done it and it has been peer-reviewed. Reeves told Jake Tapper on the show State of the Union, de CNN.
– CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas, Sahar Akbarzai, Anjali Huynh, Amanda Sealy, Artemis Moshtaghian, Laura Ly and Maggie Fox contributed to this report.