The US' top infectious disease expert has shed some light on the "frustrating" reason Covid-19 infections are continuing to grow and the one thing that could help turn the situation around.
Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said having different rules and messaging for every part of the country is one of the main reasons the coronavirus is spreading so rapidly.
Speaking at Wall Street Journal CEO Council summit on Tuesday, he said it was "disconcerting" to see so many US citizens refusing to follow basic measures to protect themselves and others around them.
Wearing masks, physical distancing and avoiding large crowds and indoor congregations are all simple measures that have a huge impact on whether Covid numbers will surge or remain under control.
"They seem simple in the backdrop of the enormity of the problem that we are facing but we know when you compare comparable situations in which one state, city, town or even country implemented these measures of public health mitigation, that they were either able to prevent surges or turn around the dynamics of a surge," Fauci said.
"And yet, we don't do that uniformly and it's really extraordinarily frustrating because we feel strongly that we will be able to have a significant impact."
Fauci noted that even in parts of the country where people are dying daily from coronavirus, there are still some that deny its impacts, adding it is something he has never witnessed before on such a massive scale.
"The trouble is, you go to different parts of the country, and even when the outbreak is clear and hospitals are on the verge of being overrun, there are a substantial proportion of the people who still think that this is not real, that it's fake news or that it's a hoax," Fauci said.
"It's extraordinary, I've never really seen anything like this. We've got to overcome that and pull together as a nation uniformly with adhering to these public health measures."
The US recently recorded its deadliest week of the pandemic, with infections showing no signs of slowing down as we head into the Christmas period.
The seven-day average for the past week was 2249 deaths, breaking the previous record weekly fatality average of 2232, which was set on April 17 during the country's first wave.
The US has the most Covid-19 cases and deaths of anywhere in the world, with more than 15 million confirmed infections and more than 286,000 deaths.
Another surge in cases is expected to hit the US after thousands of people travelled to see loved ones over thanksgiving.
Fauci said the full effects of the travelling and gathering likely won't be seen until next week.
Hospitals across the country are overflowing with coronavirus patients, with staff struggling to keep up with the demand.
Viral photos of Renown Regional Medical Centre in Reno, Nevada, show the desperate lengths medical professionals are going to in order to treat as many patients as possible.
The hospital was forced to convert two floors of its car park to a makeshift treatment site to keep up with the influx of virus patients.
A photo of the improvised facility was first shared on Twitter by intensive care unit doctor Jacob Keeperman in November, when he revealed there had been "five deaths in the last 32 hours".
The post went viral – but predictably, some accused the photo of being fake, with outgoing President Donald Trump himself retweeting one of those allegations.
Dr Keeperman later told CNN he was "disgusted" by the false accusation shared by Trump and urged government officials and all Americans to take the "humanitarian crisis" seriously.
"Things are tough. People are sick. People from all walks of life, of all ages, are getting afflicted by Covid-19," he said.
"We are getting close to a breaking point."
With Covid-19 cases and deaths rising at an alarming rate, former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb recently predicted the US death toll could hit 400,000 by January.
"There is a grim future ahead of us for the next six weeks," he told CBS's Face the Nation.
"People really need to protect themselves."