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Fauci says next couple of weeks are 'critical' to slowing surges of coronavirus

The White House health official said the next couple of weeks will be crucial in slowing surges of cases in states like Arizona, Florida and Texas.
/ Source: TODAY

Dr. Anthony Fauci says the next couple of weeks "are gonna be critical" in slowing the surge in coronavirus cases in various states across the country.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases testified at a House hearing on Tuesday that he is "quite concerned" about the rising number of cases in nearly half the country.

"Right now the next couple of weeks are gonna be critical in our ability to address those surgings that we're seeing in Florida, in Texas, in Arizona and in other states — they're not the only ones that are having a difficulty," Fauci said. "Bottom line, it's a mixed bag. Some good, and some now we have a problem with."

In the last 14 days, Oregon has reported a 234.4% jump in infections, Oklahoma jumped by 202%, Florida’s number increased by 155%, and Arizona’s confirmed coronavirus cases climbed by 142%, according to an NBC News analysis of state health department figures.

Health experts said Monday that many cases can be traced back to states loosening restrictions around Memorial Day weekend. States like Florida and Texas have also seen a shift in the age of those being diagnosed with coronavirus from older people to those in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

"The way you address that, and I say this over and over again, is you have to have the manpower, the system, the testing to identify, isolate and contact trace in an effective way so that when you see those increases, you can understand where they're coming from and you can do something about them," Fauci said.

Fauci has previously said he believes creating a vaccine for coronavirus by January is "doable," but it would also take several months to distribute doses to the entire country.