‘There’s a big difference’ between Europe and China, says U.S. infectious-disease expert Fauci

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People between the ages of 20 and 44 appear to be more seriously impacted by the coronavirus in Europe than in China, and it’s not clear why, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“We have to look at the young people who are getting seriously ill from the European cohort, and make sure it isn’t just driven by the fact that they have underlying conditions,” Fauci said on “Face the Nation” on Sunday, “because we know that, [with] underlying conditions, all bets are off — no matter how young you are.”

FEMA administrator Peter Gaynor encouraged Americans not to get a coronavirus test if they are not experiencing symptoms.

In U.S., people under 44 make up 20% of hospitalized coronavirus patients, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday. Patients under 65 accounted for nearly half of those admitted to hospital intensive-care units for COVID-19.

“If they don’t have underlying conditions, that will be something we have to really examine as to why we’re seeing it here, but we didn’t see it in China,” Fauci said.

Shortages of such critical supplies as N95 face masks, ventilators and even coronavirus test kits have hampered the U.S. response to the pandemic.

Peter Gaynor, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told CNN’s Jake Tapper he couldn’t give “a rough number” of masks the government has so far been able to acquire and distribute to hospitals. He has said he’s working in partnership with the private sector to build up a national stockpile.

Gaynor encouraged Americans not to get a coronavirus test if they don’t experience symptoms. “For every test that we do that, that someone doesn’t have symptoms for, that’s [equipment] not used well.”

One in four Americans is now under order to stay at home in order to “flatten the curve” by containing the spread of the sometimes-deadly novel coronavirus so that the U.S. health-care system does not get overwhelmed. Ambassador-at-large Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, has specifically urged millennials to practice social distancing, calling that demographic cohort “the core group that will stop the virus.”

In New York state, where there are now more confirmed coronavirus cases than in France or South Korea, nearly 54% of hospitalized coronavirus patients are between 18 and 49, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday.

Globally, the number of COVID-19 cases has topped 300,000, rising to 315,992 diagnosed cases and at least 13,589 deaths, according to the most recent data from the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering’s Centers for Systems Science and Engineering. In the U.S. there were over 27,000 confirmed cases as of Sunday.

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