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Dr. Anthony Fauci called the coronavirus pandemic his “worst nightmare” and warned that while he’s confident a vaccine will eventually be developed, the outbreak is far from over.
The top U.S. infectious disease expert said he’s been very surprised at “how rapidly it just took over the planet” calling the pandemic one of the worst in world history. He also dismissed hopes that the pandemic would be over anytime soon. “Where is it going to end? We’re still at the beginning of it” he said.
New York Post reports: The bleak outlook from Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, comes as the US continues to slowly reopen from lockdown while grappling with massive protests in cities over the police killing of George Floyd.
“In a period of four months, it has devastated the whole world,” Fauci said during a virtual appearance at a conference held by Biotechnology Innovation Organization. “And it isn’t over yet.”
Fauci added that there is still a world of uncertainty around the virus and how it spreads and impacts the body.
He said COVID-19 is much more complex than HIV, a virus he spent his career studying, because of the varying levels of seriousness in infections — from asymptomatic carriers to patients who develop fatal conditions.
“Oh my goodness,” Fauci added. “Where is it going to end? We’re still at the beginning of really understanding.”
Fauci said vaccines will be the only way to stop the spread of the coronavirus, though he did express confidence that an antidote is in the works.
He expects “more than one winner in the vaccine field because we will need vaccines for the entire world — billions and billions of doses,” he said.
“I’m very heartened by the fact that the industry has stepped to the plate — very much differently than what we saw with SARS,” Fauci said. “The industry is not stupid — they figured it out. SARS had a degree of transmissibility that it burned itself out with pure public health measures. No way is that going to happen with this virus.”
COVID-19 shines a “bright light” on the health disparities in the US, Fauci added. And as the US climbs out of its public health crisis, Fauci said resources must be focused on the most vulnerable communities, namely African Americans, who because of a variety of factors — including socioeconomic and employment — have been “getting hit with a double whammy” from the virus.
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