Dr. Anthony Fauci called for a 'universal wearing of masks' at schools as he warned about the surge of flu and COVID-19 cases during the fall season, according to a Daily Mail report.
During an interview at the World News Tonight, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases warned that the country may struggle from dual outbreaks if Americans do not adopt the wearing of masks and social distancing, particularly with the reopening of schools.
Fauci told ABC News' David Muir on Monday, August 10, that the United States would go through a 'difficult time' when two viruses spread in the coming months, stressing the need of wearing masks which could slow the spread of infections.
'There should be universal wearing of masks,' Fauci stressed adding that people must always observe social distancing and avoid crowds.
Fauci agrees with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr. Robert Redfield's statement in July that the viral infections tandem could become 'one of the most difficult times" in the US public health. However, the public health status would depend on the adherence to health guidelines across the country.
He warned that the country is likely to have a "convergence of two respiratory diseases" if we do not act uniformly and consistently. "We can have a very difficult time," said Fauci adding that coronavirus will not just disappear, so people must follow the health guidelines.
Univesity requires tudents and employees to have flu jabs
On August 7, Tech Times reported that the University of California is already requiring its students, employees, and staff to have their 'seasonal influenza' immunization vaccine before October 1 to prevent the spread of coronavirus within its premises. School officials hope that students who will attend the university in the coming fall season will comply with the new rule.
For the academic year of 2020-2021, the university would require both students and staff to present certifications of the vaccines they received. Aside from flu, it also highly advises its students to update their immunity on other diseases like Rubella (MMR), Measles, Varicella, Mumps, Meningitis, and Pertussis as well as chickenpox and tetanus.
UC Health Vice President Carrie Byington said that the influenza vaccinations effectively reduce flu-related sickness and hospitalization. It also prevents the development of flu-like symptoms related to coronavirus.
"We strongly believe that the health of the individual can affect the health of the entire community," Byington said adding that this proactive measure will help protect the UC community and the public as a whole.
According to the CDC, the flu virus has caused about 9 million to 45 million illnesses since 2010 as well as 810,000 hospitalizations and about 12,000 to 61,000 deaths every year.
Having the coronavirus pandemic and flu outbreaks at the same time could be detrimental to the country, particularly as there is still no available vaccine or cure yet against coronavirus.
Currently, the U.S. is recording 50,000 to 70,000 cases a day, which is far from what Fauci hoped for, which is less than 10,000 cases daily by fall.
As the U.S. already had more than 5 million COVID-19 cases, Fauci seems exhausted as "how more forcefully" he can appeal to the American people.
"My message is one of cautious optimism and hope," he said, although he is also being realistic about the situation.