Top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said he is concerned that the increases in infections in light of reopening could develop into “full blown outbreaks” but hopes that “individual states can blunt that.
He said it is not “inevitable” that a second wave or massive wave of infections could happen in the fall, but it could be prevent if approached “in the proper way” with widespread testing and contact tracing.
The Trump administration has not had the same outlook on the threat of the recent outbreaks as Fauci, with President Donald Trump blaming the rise in coronavirus cases on increased testing.
He said he doesn’t see normalcy returning anytime soon amid the coronavirus pandemic, citing the recent spikes in COVID-19 cases across the US.
“I would hope to get to some degree of real normality within a year or so, but I don’t think it’s this winter or fall; we’ll be seeing it for a bit more,” Fauci told The Telegraph.
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US top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed concern that the recent spikes in coronavirus cases across the US could develop into “full blown outbreaks.”
His outlook contrasted the more positive outlook of the Trump administration, saying that the emerging COVID-19 cases are merely “embers” to be snuffed out.
Experts have been pushing for establishing a comprehensive testing and contact tracing method in order to suppress, not just mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Fauci echoed the sentiment, saying that the question remains if such a system will exist anytime soon.
“The question is will they have the capability to do the appropriate and effective isolation, and contact tracing, to prevent this increase from becoming a full blown outbreak? I’m concerned it’s happening,” Fauci told the UK newspaper The Telegraph, referring to the recent spikes in COVID-19 cases throughout the US.
“I hope the individual states can blunt that. It [the virus] could go on for a couple of cycles, coming back and forth,” he added.
The Trump administration has not had the same outlook on the threat of the recent outbreaks as Fauci, with President Donald Trump blaming the rise in coronavirus cases on increased testing, though evidence shows that there are a variety of factors playing into the spikes.
“If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, actually,” the president said at a roundtable Monday.
Vice President Mike Pence also reportedly touted the misleading claim in a call to governors, telling them to use as an explanation for the case spikes.
“The president often talks about embers,” Pence said during the call, the audio of which was obtained by The New York Times. “As we go through the summer, as we see, overall, as you all know, around the country, that despite a mass increase in testing, we are still averaging roughly 20,000 cases a day, which is significantly down from six weeks ago.”
According to a Times data analysis, “positive case rates are increasing faster than the increase in the average number of tests” in at least 14 states.
Fauci said he doesn’t think there’s going to be an “immediate pull back” on the health safety restrictions to stem the spread of the virus, like social distancing, but “its going to be really wait and see.”
“My feeling, looking at what’s going on with the infection rate, I think it’s more likely measured in months rather than weeks,” Fauci told The Telegraph.
He said life will likely not return to normal until next year in a grim prediction as to how the COVID-19 pandemic will pan out.
“I would hope to get to some degree of real normality within a year or so, but I don’t think it’s this winter or fall; we’ll be seeing it for a bit more,” Fauci told The Telegraph, adding that it is “not inevitable that you will have a so-called ‘second wave’ in the fall, or even a massive increase, if you approach it in the proper way.”
Fauci said that there is still hope to fight the virus through a vaccine, which he sees some potential options making “significant progress.”
“You can never guarantee success with a vaccine — that’s foolish to do so — there’s so many possibilities of things going wrong,” he told The Telegraph. “[But] everything we have seen from early results, it’s conceivable we get two or three vaccines that are successful.”
While Fauci described the COVID-19 pandemic as “an explosive outbreak that in a couple of months spread through so many cities, and the world,” he does see “light at the end of the tunnel.”
“This will end. As stressful and devastating as it is, it will end,” Fauci told The Telegraph. “We are all in it together as a global community, and I do see the light at then end of the tunnel.”
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