Fauci Warns Bad Second Wave of Coronavirus Could Hit U.S.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease specialist and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, warned that the U.S. "could be in for a bad fall" and a bad winter if it does not contain COVID-19 before then, according to CNBC.
His assessment backed predictions from the Centers for Disease Control, which released a report that said a second wave could be worse because it may coincide with cold and flu season, according to USA Today. However, last week, President Trump seemed to refute that assessment, saying last week "it may not come back at all."
Speaking to reporters of the report that CDC Director Robert Redfield released, Trump said, "He's talking about a worst-case scenario where you have a big flu and you have some (coronavirus). And if it does come back, it's not going to come back ... like it was. Also, we have much better containment now.
"Before nobody knew about it. Nobody knew anything about it. Now, if we have pockets, a little pocket here or there, we're going to have it put out. It goes out, and it's going to go out fast. We're going to be watching for it. But it's also possible it doesn't come back at all."
On Tuesday, Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, was interviewed by The Economic Club in Washington, DC, when he said that COVID-19 is not going away and leading infectious disease specialists like him are watching how the virus behaves in the southern hemisphere, which is moving toward its cold season, according to CNBC.
He added that how the fall and winter looks in the U.S. will depend on what types of preventive steps are put in place now.
"If by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well," said Dr. Fauci, as CNN reported. "If we don't do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter."
He noted that if states are start to lift social distancing guidelines too early, the country may the virus rebound and "get us right back in the same boat that we were a few weeks ago," adding that the country could see many more deaths than are currently predicted, according to CNN.
To thwart a second wave, Fauci said the U.S. needed to have improved testing; a way to track cases; and the ability to isolate infected Americans so the virus does not spread.
However, testing in the U.S. lags behind other countries, having performed far fewer tests per capita than Spain or Italy, according to a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as CNN reported. The U.S. has performed 16.4 tests per 1,000 people, according to the report, while Spain and Italy, which also suffered outbreaks, have conducted 22.3 and 29.7 tests per 1,000 people, respectively.
Dr. Fauci said the federal government needs to partner with states to help expand the number of people tested.
"The truth is that we're going in the right direction," he said, as CNN reported. "But we need to continue to partner in a very active collaborative way with the states, we need to help them the same way they need to do the execution."
A comprehensive model predicts more than 72,000 people in the U.S. will die from COVID-19 by early August. So far, over 1 million Americans have been infected and over 58,000 have died, making it the worst outbreak in the world. The U.S. has roughly one-third of the more than 3 million people infected worldwide. Globally, the virus has killed at least 212,000 as of Tuesday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, as CNBC reported.
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At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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