Fauci: US COVID-19 outbreak may worsen after holidays

Top US government scientist Anthony Fauci warns that the worst of the pandemic may be yet to come, driving America to a “critical point” as holiday travel spreads the coronavirus.

“I share the concern of President-elect (Joe) Biden that as we get into the next few weeks, it might actually get worse,” the infectious disease specialist tells CNN.

Biden cautioned on Wednesday that the nation’s “darkest days are ahead of us — not behind us.”

Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci wears a face covering as he listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 30, 2020. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)

Fauci, who has been encouraging everyone eligible to be vaccinated, says he feels fine after receiving a first shot and experienced “nothing serious at all.”

US holiday travel this year was down substantially on the festive season but remained significant. Air travel averaged more than one million passengers a day for six consecutive days last week, according to the Transportation Security Agency.

Following last month’s Thanksgiving holiday, US coronavirus cases surged sharply in December, with more than 200,000 new cases and at times more than 3,000 deaths daily.

With intensive care units in many hospitals near capacity, Fauci reiterated that the country might be facing a “surge upon a surge.”