WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci is criticizing a declaration by a group of scientists that supports the concept of “herd immunity,” which the White House is using to bolster a push to reopen schools and businesses.
Fauci says backing herd immunity — the idea that a disease will stop spreading once nearly everybody has contracted it — is “total nonsense.”
The top U.S. infectious disease expert says: “If you talk to anybody who has any experience in epidemiology and infectious diseases, they will tell you that that is risky and you’ll wind up with many more infections of vulnerable people, which will lead to hospitalizations and death,” he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday. “So I think that we’ve just got to look that square in the eye and say it’s nonsense.”
The U.S. leads the world with 7.9 million coronavirus cases and nearly 217,000 confirmed deaths. Globally, there have been 38 million reported cases and 1.09 million confirmed deaths.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:
— WHO: European cases rocket, says strong coronavirus limits needed
— Germany reports more than 6,600 new coronavirus cases
— India reports 67,708 new infections, total more than 7.3 million
— London moves to second-highest coronavirus alert level amid rise in cases.
— French police search homes of the former prime minister, the current and former health ministers in probe of government response to coronavirus pandemic.
— Nominations for the Tony Awards will have just 18 eligible plays and musicals because of the coronavirus interrupting on the Broadway season.
— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
BERLIN — The German Hospital Federation says the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the country has doubled in the past week.
The head of the federation, Gerald Gass, says the first wave showed it takes about 14 days for the rise in infections to affect hospitals. He says the number of patients receiving intensive care is likely to pass 2,000 by November at current rates.
Germany’s well-funded health system has helped the country keep the death rate from COVID-19 significantly below other large European countries.
During the first wave of infections in spring, Germany took in dozens of patients from France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands as their hospitals struggled to care for seriously ill patients.
Bavaria’s governor Markus Soeder says his state has received a request to treat patients from the neighboring Czech Republic, where case numbers have surged in recent days.
LONDON — Britain’s health secretary says London has moved to the second-highest coronavirus alert level amid a rise in cases.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons the government acted because infection rates are rising rapidly in the capital and swift action was necessary to control the virus.
The move comes as millions of people in northern England are waiting to learn if they’ll be placed under the government’s tightest restrictions, like Liverpool.
The “high risk”