NASHVILLE, Tenn. — NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said there are early signs that Tennessee, Kentucky and other midwest states could face a COVID-19 outbreak and leaders should be careful because we "can't afford another surge."
Speaking to national news on Tuesday, Fauci said there are "early signs" that an outbreak could be brewing in Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana.
Dr. Fauci said these states are "starting to have very early indication that the percent of cases is starting to go up."
"That’s a sure fire sign that you’ve gotta really be careful," Dr. Fauci said. "And if you’re trying to open up please do it in a way that it’s in accordance of the guidelines."
Dr. Fauci said "we can't afford" another surge like some southern states, including Florida and Texas, have seen. He says these COVID-19 surges can be prevented with cautious reopening.
Another top U.S. coronavirus official Dr. Deborah Birx traveled to Nashville this week and urged all Tennessee mayors to issue a mask mandate and for Gov. Bill Lee to close bars. Gov. Lee maintains he is not planning on more business closures.
Dr. Fauci stressed the importance of sticking to national guidelines of reopening.
"Obviously as you mentioned, some states are not doing that..We hope that they’d rethink what happens when you don’t adhere to that," Dr. Fauci said.
Right now, 93%, or 89 or Tennessee’s 95 counties, have a transmission rate “above the threshold.”