New Orleans, Detroit & other smaller cities ripe for coronavirus acceleration, Dr. Fauci says

WASHINGTON -- Dr. Anthony Fauci says smaller U.S. cities that don't yet have large numbers of COVID-19 cases are ripe for the acceleration that occurred in New York City.

The U.S. government's top infectious disease expert told ABC's "Good Morning America" the "dynamics of the outbreak" of the coronavirus in New Orleans and Detroit show signs that "they're going to take off."

He's also concerned about smaller cities across the country.

"There are a number of smaller cities that are sort of percolating along, couple hundred cases, the slope doesn't look like it's going up," Fauci said. "What we've learned from painful experience with this outbreak is that it goes along almost on a straight line, then a little acceleration, acceleration, then it goes way up."

RELATED: How is coronavirus spread? Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak

Fauci says that "very consistent pattern" is the same as what's occurred in New York, Italy, France, Germany and Spain.

"We're going to have all of these little mini outbreaks throughout various cities in our country," he said.

Asked about how long the Trump administration's recommended social distancing guidelines might be in effect, Fauci says, "I think April might do it...but we kept an open mind when we presented it to the president."

Copyright © 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.