Fauci: Easing restrictio­ns is ‘really risky’


The much-ballyhooed, steady decline in new infections and hospitaliz­ations appears to have stalled. Experts now are trying to determine whether a new surge is underway.

In the seven-day period ending Thursday, 17 states had rising case counts over the previous seven days. In the seven-day period ending Friday, 21 states were up over the previous seven days.

The week ending Saturday saw new cases rise in 23 states from the previous week.

Yet some governors and mayors, encouraged by the steady decline and pressed by struggling small business owners, are easing restrictio­ns. New Orleans is allowing gatherings of up to 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Massachuse­tts on Monday lifts an order requiring all businesses, including restaurant­s, to close by 9:30 p.m.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says he thinks easing restrictio­ns could be premature.

“It is really risky to say, ‘It’s over. We’re on our way out. Let’s pull back,’ ” Fauci said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

As of Sunday, the U.S. had more than 28.5 million confirmed coronaviru­s cases and 512,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

More than 96.4 million vaccine doses have been distribute­d in the U.S. and about 75.2 million have been administer­ed. The U.S. on Friday administer­ed the most vaccines in a day so far: nearly 2.4 million shots, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

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