Dr. Anthony Fauci, leader of the White House coronavirus task force, broke the news on Friday that the US is “not even at halftime” in the battle against coronavirus.
Speaking to Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s radio show “Basketball and Beyond with Coach K” on Thursday, Fauci drew a parallel between the ongoing struggle against the rising tide of COVID-19 and a basketball game at Krzyzewski’s request.
Full court press
“If you want to do the basketball analogy, that right now we have a team that’s a very powerful team, and that’s the virus, and what we need to do is that we’ve got to play a full-court press.” Fauci explained.
“I mean, we can’t let them get the ball on the ground to dribble. We’ve just got to be all over them…We’re not even at halftime, Coach K.”
Though early on in the lockdown, Fauci was cautiously optimistic that the US may not need to enact social distancing measures for an extended period, he’s indicated in recent days that the US is nowhere near letting up on the strict guidelines.
“What would be really nice, to continue the analogy, is that if we can just hold our own and then when we get back in the second half, just come out, like, blazing,” Fauci continued. “And that’s what we really need to do. Otherwise, this stuff is going to be really, really very harmful to us as a society.”
Fauci also told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday evening that he believes all US states should be under stay-at-home orders and expressed confusion as to why some are still holding out.
“I don’t understand why that’s not happening. If you look at what’s going on in this country, I just don’t understand why we’re not doing that. We really should be,” he said.
On the rise
Public health officials warned that the coronavirus crisis in the US was going to escalate this week, and that prediction seems to be coming true.
According to CDC data released on Friday evening, total cases in the US have reached 239,279 and the death toll stands at over 5,000.
New York state is in the throes of the steepest coronavirus curve in the nation as confirmed cases have nearly reached 100,000 in the state alone.
As dire as the situation may seem, significant progress has been made in finding and approving treatments and even cures for patients currently infected with the virus and in developing vaccines that could be rushed to the market within the next 18 months.