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Dr Fauci: Covid-19 outbreak in US may worsen after holidays

WASHINGTON: Top US government scientist Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday the worst of the pandemic may be yet to come, driving the country 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," he told CNN.

Mr Biden cautioned last Wednesday that the nation's "darkest days are ahead of us - not behind us".

Dr Fauci, an infectious disease specialist, has been encouraging everyone eligible to be vaccinated and said he felt fine after receiving a first shot and experienced "nothing serious at all".

Surgeon General Jerome Adams added that, like Dr Fauci, he's "very concerned" about a post-holiday surge.

Former US Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb said on CBS that "we have a grim month ahead of us".

The comments came as the number of cases approached 19 million and deaths exceeded 332,000. Festive season holiday travel this year dipped but remained significant, Bloomberg reported.

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 cases surged sharply this month, with more than 200,000 new cases and at times more than 3,000 deaths daily. - REUTERS

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