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Incomplete shutdown among factors contributing to COVID-19 surge in U.S., says Fauci

(Xinhua)    09:06, August 01, 2020

Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies at a House subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., the United States, on July 31, 2020. (Erin Scott/Pool via Xinhua)

Fauci is "cautiously optimistic" that the coronavirus vaccine being developed by American biotechnology company Moderna and his agency will be successful.

WASHINGTON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- U.S. top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Friday incomplete shutdown is among factors contributing to the surging COVID-19 cases in the country.

The director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases made the remarks at a House subcommittee hearing when asked why Europe has been able to largely contain the virus while the United States has seen a rise in new cases.

"If you look at what happened in Europe, when they shut down or locked down or went to shelter in place ... they really did it to the tune of about 95 percent plus of the country," Fauci said.

Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies at a House subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., the United States, on July 31, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Xinhua)

"When you actually look at what we did ... we really functionally shut down only about 50 percent in the sense of the totality of the country," he said.

He also noted that some states had better success at following reopening guidelines than others.

"Some were followed very carefully and some were not," Fauci said.

Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies at a House subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., the United States, on July 31, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Xinhua)

In some situations, states did not abide strictly by the guidelines that the task force and the White House had put out and others that even did abide by it, the people in the state actually were congregating in crowds and not wearing masks, Fauci said.

According to Fauci, the National Institutes of Health's strategic plan is focused on addressing four key points related to COVID-19, which are: the improvement of fundamental knowledge of the virus, the development of diagnostics, the testing of therapeutics, and development and testing of vaccines.

Fauci said he is "cautiously optimistic" that the coronavirus vaccine being developed by American biotechnology company Moderna and his agency will be successful.

Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, prepares to testify at a House subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., the United States, on July 31, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Xinhua)

The experimental vaccine, known as mRNA-1273, started a phase 3 clinical trial on Monday to evaluate if it can prevent COVID-19 in adults.

The trial, which will be conducted at U.S. clinical research sites, is expected to enroll approximately 30,000 adult volunteers who do not have COVID-19.

Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adjusts his face mask as he testifies at a House subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., the United States, on July 31, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Xinhua)

"We hope that by the time we get into late fall and early winter, we will have in fact a vaccine that we can say that would be safe and effective," said the senior expert.

The U.S. COVID-19 cases reached 4.5 million with over 152,000 fatalities as of Friday afternoon, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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