AP: The U.S. is \u201cgoing in the wrong direction\u201d with the coronavirus surging badly enough that Dr. Anthony Fauci told senators Tuesday some regions are putting the entire country at risk \u2014 just as schools and colleges are wrestling with how to safely reopen.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAnthony Fauci\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWith about 40,000 new cases being reported a day, Fauci, the government\u2019s top infectious disease expert, said he \u201cwould not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cI am very concerned,\u201d he told a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nInfections are rising rapidly mostly in parts of the West and South, and Fauci and other public health experts said Americans everywhere will have to start following key recommendations if they want to get back to more normal activities like going to school.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cWe\u2019ve got to get the message out that we are all in this together,\u201d by wearing masks in public and keeping out of crowds, said Fauci, infectious disease chief at the National Institutes of Health.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nConnect the dots, he told senators: When and how school buildings can reopen will vary depending on how widely the coronavirus is spreading locally.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cI feel very strongly we need to do whatever we can to get the children back to school,\u201d Anthony Fauci \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans more guidelines for local school systems, Director Robert Redfield said.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBut in recommendations for colleges released Tuesday, the agency said it won\u2019t recommend entry testing for all returning students, faculty and staff. It\u2019s not clear if that kind of broad-stroke testing would reduce spread of the coronavirus, CDC concluded. Instead, it urged colleges to focus on containing outbreaks and exposures as students return.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nLawmakers also pressed for what Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the committee\u2019s top Democrat, called a national vaccine plan \u2014 to be sure the race for the COVID-19 vaccine ends with shots that really are safe, truly protect and are available to all Americans who want, one.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cWe can\u2019t take for granted this process will be free of political influence,\u201d Patty Murray\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nShe cited how President Donald Trump promoted a malaria drug as a COVID-19 treatment that ultimately was found to be risky and ineffective.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe Food and Drug Administration released guidelines Tuesday saying any vaccine that wins approval will have to be at 50% more effective than a dummy shot in the final, required testing. That\u2019s less effective than many of today\u2019s vaccines but independent experts say that would be a good start against the virus.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nFDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said vaccine makers also must test their shots in diverse populations, including minorities, the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic health problems.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cWe will not cut corners in our decision-making,\u201d Stephen Hahn\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAbout 15 vaccine candidates are in various stages of human testing worldwide but the largest studies -- including 30,000 people each -- needed to prove if a shot really protects are set to begin in July. First up is expected to be a vaccine created by the NIH and Moderna Inc., followed closely by an Oxford University candidate.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAt the same time, the Trump administration\u2019s \u201cOperation Warp Speed\u201d aims to stockpile hundreds of millions of doses by year\u2019s end, so they could rapidly start vaccinations if and when one is proven to work.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nRedfield said the CDC already is planning how to prioritize who is first in line for the scarce first doses and how they\u2019ll be distributed.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBut a vaccine is at the very least many months away. For now, the committee\u2019s leading Republican stressed wearing a mask -- and said Trump, who notoriously shuns them, needs to start because politics is getting in the way of protecting the American people.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cThe stakes are too high for the political debate about pro-Trump, anti-Trump masks to continue,\u201d said Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who chaired Tuesday\u2019s hearing.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAlexander said he had to self-quarantine after a staff member tested positive for the virus but that he personally was protected because his staffer was wearing a mask.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cThe president has plenty of admirers. They would follow his lead,\u201d Alexander said. \u201cThe stakes are too high\u201d to continue that fight.