Infectious disease experts address Congress as coronavirus cases surge across the U.S.

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WASHINGTON D.C. (WCMH) — The nation’s top disease experts gave Congress a grim assessment of where there U.S. stands on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci was back on Capitol Hill and praised the efforts of some areas such as New York City to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“However, in other areas of the country, we’re now seeing a disturbing surge of infections,” Dr. Fauci said.

Cases have surged in more than 26 states as economies open back up. So far, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois have not seen major spikes.

“The next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surgings that we’re seeing,” Dr. Fauci said.

Nursing homes remain frequent hotspots.

“Right now, the most powerful weapon against this disease are social distancing, face coverings and hand hygiene,” said CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield.

Illinois democratic representative Jan Schakowsky said officials still haven’t required nursing homes to report all infections.

“There’s been guidance, there’s been encouragement, but what about mandating?” Schakowsky said.

Dr. Redfield said reporting nursing home infections has been a requirement since May 8.

Dr. Fauci agreed with Ohio republican Bill Johnson’s call for expanded Teleheath.

“It’s time for Congress to make robust access to Telehealth permanent,” Johnson said.

Lawmakers also pressed the experts on finding a vaccine.

“There are several that are moving along at various paces,” Dr. Fauci said.

He added the most promising vaccine candidate starts phase three trials in July.

“We feel cautiously optimistic,” he said.

Dr. Fauci said that means a vaccine could be read by the end of this year or early 2021.

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