New York 'did it correctly': Dr. Anthony Fauci says city is example of how to lower COVID-19 cases

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Monday, July 20, 2020
COVID cases continue to rise in south and west
ABC News' Trevor Ault has the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic.

NEW YORK -- Dr. Anthony Fauci said New York has set an example for the rest of the country of how to successfully bring down cases of coronavirus.

Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discussed the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday night's edition of PBS NewsHour.

When anchor Judy Woodruff asked Fauci about a solution to increasing testing throughout the country, he said that New York did it right.

"Again, we have a problem. We need to admit it and own it. But we have got to do the things that are very clear that we need to do to turn this around, remembering we can do it," Fauci said. "We know that, when you do it properly, you bring down those cases. We have done it. We have done it in New York. New York got hit worse than any place in the world. And they did it correctly by doing the things that you're talking about."

As cases in other parts of the country continue to surge and hit new record highs, Fauci believes that the key to containing the virus is to get the tests in the right place at the right time.

"We have got to use them in the right manner," Fauci said. "We have got to get them to the right people who can do the proper identification, isolation and contact tracing, and even go beyond that, Judy, to be able to test more widely in a more surveillance way, so you can get a feel for the extent and the penetrance of this community spread."

Fauci said all he can do is plead with people to be consistent and take the advice of health professionals.

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New York, once a pandemic hotspot, has so far avoided a surge in new cases like those plaguing other states in the South and West. The city even had its first day without a single new COVID-19 case last week.

The number of people hospitalized in New York with the coronavirus continued to drop to one of the lowest levels since the pandemic began, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

But Cuomo has repeatedly warned New Yorkers could be at risk if they abandon social distancing and other practices adopted to stop the spread of the virus.

"I know it's tempting to be tired of the many rules and guidelines the state has issued, but I reiterate that this pandemic is far from over, and the incredible compliance and fortitude of New Yorkers are key parts of our ability to fight COVID-19," Cuomo said.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)