Double down on safety protocols or death toll could hit 400K: Fauci

FILE Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies at a hearing of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Capitol Hill on June 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned students during a virtual question and answer session that if proper COVID-19 safety protocols do not continue to be followed, the death toll in the United States from the coronavirus could rise to 400,000.

"The models tell us if we don't do what we need to in the fall and winter, we could have 300,000-400,000 #COVID19 deaths," said Fauci Tuesday during a Twitter session with American University.

The U.S. has recorded more than 210,000 deaths from COVID-19 while the worldwide death toll eclipsed one million.

The member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force pointed to safety procedures that should be practiced by every American.

"As a nation we need to double down on fundamental public health measures that work, including: wearing masks...distancing... washing hands," said Fauci.

When asked about the numbers of cases rising, Fauci said "we're facing a resurgence of the wave we began with."

Fauci has been questioned in the past about the efficacy of a vaccine and has said the chances of a very high rate were not great, but 50% to 60% effecacy would also be acceptable.

"When the FDA ultimately approves it, I would feel comfortable taking the vaccine myself," added Fauci.

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