“The European and Asian countries locked down at 95 percent”, Fauci said in an interview at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. “The baseline was tens or hundreds of cases a day. We locked down to 50 percent of what we could have: We never went down to a reasonable baseline”.
Fauci pointed out that US state, city and local authorities sometimes eased up on restrictions and lockdowns far too soon.
"We went down to a baseline of 20,000 cases a day and we stayed there for weeks: It was like a slog. Then, we had the holiday season. Then it started to go up. We even had a day of 70,000 cases. That's not a baseline let's go and get it to the baseline", he said.
Fauci expressed optimism that the current surge in the pandemic in southern and western United States could be gotten under control and reversed within three weeks if responsible distancing and lockdown measures were reintroduced.
"I think I would say three weeks or so [of such measures] ... If three or four weeks from now it's still getting worse, then we reevaluate and say maybe its time to shut down. At this time I think we can turn it around", Fauci added.
As of 24 July, the US has registered nearly 4,025,000 novel coronavirus cases and almost 144,000 fatalities related to the disease, with more than 72,000 cases and 1,113 deaths recorded over the past 24 hours, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.