Fauci warns of spike in deaths ‘if we go about our daily lives and not worry’

“Yes, it is possible. Our job, our challenge, is to try and make that not happen,” Fauci told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “State of the Union.” “But to think, if we go about our daily lives and not worry about everything, that it’s not going to happen, it could happen. And it could be worse.”

Fauci insisted that everyone should take the virus seriously, including young people, despite the fact that elderly and sick people are disproportionately at risk.

Younger people “are not immune or safe from getting seriously ill,” he said. “There are going to be people who were young who are going to wind up getting seriously ill. So, protect yourself. But, remember, you could also be a vector or a carrier. And even though you don’t get seriously ill, you could bring it to your grandfather, your grandmother or your elderly relative.”

In a “Dear Colleague” letter to members of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday thanked lawmakers for passing a bipartisan coronavirus response package over the weekend to provide economic relief to families and free testing for the virus. She said the chamber had already started working on another package, and encouraged members “to take steps to promote social distancing within your Washington, D.C. office” during the current recess after consulting the chamber’s attending physician and sergeant at arms.

“This may entail more than half of your Washington staff teleworking from home,” she wrote.

One former aide to Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday. Daniel Goldman, 44, who led the panel’s questioning during the impeachment inquiry in November, had been seeking a test in recent days after exhibiting symptoms and testing negative for the flu.

“Woke up at 4:45am to drive to Stamford, CT for a curbside #COVID19 test,” Goldman tweeted Friday. “One catch: I was told the results may not come back for 4 DAYS. @tomhanks test in Australia came back in 4 HOURS. Now resting at home, feeling better, and trying to keep 3 little ones away.“

In a statement on Sunday, Schiff revealed that a former staffer had contracted coronavirus but didn’t identify Goldman by name. Goldman left Schiff’s office earlier this month, and Schiff indicated that doctors believed that the former staffer contracted the illness after his departure.

The National Institutes of Health told staff in a memo Sunday morning that an individual who works for the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases but is not involved in patient care was being quarantined at home after testing positive for the virus.

“While this is an unfortunate development, it is not surprising, and NIH expects that there will be more cases of infection among NIH staff,” NIH Director Francis Collins said in a statement.

Ahead of Sunday’s announcement, NIH had already announced steps to shift its staff toward remote work beginning on Monday. In the email, Collins also acknowledged that many staff would need to remain on site to continue to support the NIH’s facilities, conduct research and other in-person activities.

President Donald Trump held a call with more than two dozen grocery store and supply chain executives on Sunday afternoon. According to a readout from a White House spokesman, Judd Deere, the president thanked them for their partnership and commitment to meeting the public’s need.

“All of the executives are working hand-in-hand with the federal government, as well as State and local leaders, to ensure food and essentials are constantly available,” Deere said in a statement. “The president reminded the participants that this is an all-of-America approach and each of their stores and the stores they support can help Americans feel calm and safe when shelves are stocked with the items they need. Supply chains in the United States are strong, and it is unnecessary for the American public to hoard daily essentials.”

Members of the Coronavirus Task Force will brief members of the media later in the day.

In an interview on ABC’s “This Week,” the White House economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, guaranteed that there was enough stock in the supply chain for people to be able to provide food for their families at home without running out of supplies, though he noted that “there may be some exceptions.”

“I’ve read about some situations where this is a difficulty, but most of our supply lines are working pretty well in the domestic United States,” Kudlow told host Margaret Brennan.

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