The current phase of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States — where new daily infections have plateaued between 50,000 to 60,000 — is “not a good place to be,” Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Friday.

In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Fauci urged people to “hang in there a bit longer” with restrictions aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19 so that the vaccination program can really take hold and therefore reduce the possibility of yet another surge.

Hayes noted that “there’s no state of equilibrium plateau” with the virus.

“It seems like in a year of this pandemic, this thing is either growing or shrinking,” he said. “So, when you see it growing in a place I start to get worried. How do you interpret the data out of places like Massachusetts and Michigan where we’re seeing some growth?”

“Well, you know, it’s predictable,” Fauci replied. “Remember we had the big peak. And then it came down at a really good rate and then it started to plateau which I said weeks ago was a bad sign. Instead of continuing to go down at a sharp line, it’s plateaued. Once it’s done that, there’s a high risk that you’re going to get another resurgence. We’ve seen that with previous surges. The other three that we’ve had in this country.”

Watch the interview here:

Fauci pointed at Europe, which is “three to four weeks ahead of us in the dynamics of the outbreak.”

“They went up, came down, plateaued. They pulled back on the mitigation methods. They stopped wearing masks. They opened up the bars. They did the things that we warned shouldn’t be done and now Europe is seeing, in general, a surge of 5 to 10%,” he said.

“I hope that doesn’t happen here, but it looks like it’s starting to do that,” Fauci added. “It’s risky, which is the reason why we say don’t declare victory prematurely. We still have a ways to go, plateauing at 50,000 cases a day is not a good place to be. And that’s where we are. We’ve got to keep pushing to get it down even further.”

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