Fauci warns against easing COVID-19 curbs

The top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that coronavirus cases are again creeping higher and that it was still too soon to lift restrictions on public gatherings.

"What we're likely seeing is because of things like spring break and pulling back on the mitigation methods that you've seen. Now, several states have done that. I believe it's premature, because when I've said many times to you that when you're coming down from a big peak and you reach a point and start to plateau, once you stay at that plateau, you're really in danger of a surge coming up. And unfortunately, that's what we're starting to see. We got stuck at around 50,000 new cases per day, went up to 60,000 the other day. And that's really a risk."

His warnings on the CBS program “Face the Nation” came as some states, such as Arizona this week, have dropped mask mandates and begun allowing businesses to open their doors without restrictions.

And as Spring Break rages on in Miami, Florida and other vacation hot spots like Santa Monica, California.

The rise in infections comes amid efforts by the Biden administration to deliver shots into the arms of Americans more quickly.

President Biden this week doubled his administration's target pace for vaccinations, aiming to get 200 million doses out within his first 100 days in office.

Former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb says ramping up vaccines will play a key role in controlling a potential fourth wave.

"What we're seeing around the nation right now, which is worrisome, are outbreaks in certain states, Michigan, the metro Detroit area, Boston around Massachusetts, the tri-state region, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, are experiencing an upsurge of infection. And I think what we need to do is try to continue to vaccinate, surge vaccine into those parts of the country. So the incremental vaccine that's coming onto the market, I think the Biden administration can allocate to parts of the country that look hot right now. But if we could just get two or three more weeks of around three million vaccines a day, that's going to be a pretty big backstop, against a true fourth surge."

Since the pandemic began, there have been nearly 550,000 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the U.S.