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Dr. Fauci: ‘We need to put our foot on the accelerator’ to see an end to COVID-19 pandemic

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31: Dr. Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks while flanked by President Donald Trump during the daily coronavirus task force briefing in the Brady Briefing room at the White House on March 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. With the nationwide death toll rising due to the coronavirus, the United States has extended its social distancing practices through the end of April, while many states have issued stay-at-home orders that strongly discourage residents from leaving home unless absolutely necessary or essential. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON ─ Even though he says the worst is yet to come, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, has seen signs of progress in the country’s fight against the coronavirus.

“The next week we’re going to see a spike in deaths throughout the country, particularly in the hot spot areas like New York, but simultaneously with that, we’re starting to see some cautiously optimistic type signs,” Fauci said.

Fauci said if Americans continue to practice social distancing, it will limit the number of new cases and ultimately, decrease the number of deaths.

“No crowds more than 10 people, keep 6 feet away, avoid crowded places, telework when you can – those are the kind of things that if we keep doing we’re going to see an even greater impact,” he said.

He said the nation must stay the course to stop the virus from spreading.

“That’s the reason why we need to keep, as I say, putting the foot on the accelerator and not the brake,” Fauci said.

As of Tuesday, federal social distancing guidelines are scheduled to continue until April 30, but Fauci said they’ll most likely be extended.

“We hope that the April 30 deadline will be enough, but again, as I’ve said, the virus determines the timetable,” Fauci said.

Once that deadline comes, Fauci said leaders will re-evaluate and may take a more tailored approach.

“We’re a big country and there’s a big difference from what’s going in New York and New Orleans and what’s going on in Omaha, Nebraska,” he said.

But no matter what, Fauci said everyone who adheres to the social distancing guidelines to not only protect themselves, but others as well.

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