- Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a new interview that the new coronavirus had “turned out to be my worst nightmare.”
- Fauci noted that the virus has spread more than other deadly diseases and still has a relatively high death rate.
- He said he had “devastated the world” in a short time but that even though millions of people had already been infected, “it is not over yet.”
- Some countries are reopening before they even control their epidemics, and many American states are still seeing new peaks in cases and hospitalizations due to the virus.
- Visit the Business Insider home page for more stories.
As various American countries and states make headway in reopening before their coronavirus outbreaks are even under control, Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease expert, has warned that the new virus is his “worst nightmare” reality and “is not” finished. ”
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, noted the ease with which the virus spreads as well as its relatively high mortality rate, differentiating it from other deadly viruses.
He made the remarks in a video interview to BIO Digital, a virtual healthcare conference, which was shown on Tuesday, CNBC and CNN reported.
In the interview, Fauci described the virus as “highly transmissible”.
“Now we have something that has turned out to be my worst nightmare,” he said.
“In four months, it devastated the world.”
The virus has infected more than 7 million people and killed more than 400,000 worldwide, and it has plunged the world into unprecedented bottlenecks that have blocked the global economy.
The way the virus spreads makes it “very different” from other epidemics, he said.
“I mean, Ebola was scary. But Ebola would never be easily transmitted globally, ”he said.
“HIV, important as it is, has been stretched for a long time. I mean, I think the ultimate impact of AIDS will almost certainly be greater than anything we are talking about now. ”
Although the new coronavirus seems less deadly than the Ebola virus or the SARS virus, it has become much more widespread.
The coronavirus, said Fauci, “has taken over the planet.”
“This is a testament not only to the extraordinary transmission capacity but also to the extraordinary travel capacity that we have,” he said.
“I mean, it started in a very well defined place in a city in China called Wuhan. And China is a big country. Lots of people travel all over the world. They travel to the United States. They travel to Europe. ”
We are “almost at the beginning of understanding” of COVID-19
Fauci noted that there have been “millions and millions of infections worldwide” since the virus was identified in Wuhan in late December.
“And it’s not over yet,” he said.
He noted that there were still many unknowns about the virus, including the long-term effects of the infection on patients.
He described the experts as “almost at the beginning of understanding” of the virus.
The number of new coronavirus cases worldwide is increasing, with a daily record of 136,000 infections recorded on Sunday.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, said this week that the crisis was “far from over,” the New York Times reported.
Russia, for example, is lifting restrictions even as its infections increase.
At the same time, new countries appear poised to become epicenters, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In the United States, 14 states and Puerto Rico have just recorded their highest seven-day average of coronavirus cases since the start of the epidemic, according to data followed by the Washington Post.
And nine states have reported an increase in the number of people hospitalized for the virus since the end of May.
Hopes for a vaccine
Fauci also said the response from the pharmaceutical industry was “stellar” and that there would be “more than one winner in the vaccine business because we are going to need vaccines for the whole world”.
He said, however, that he did not think that price controls could be applied before they were developed, because he said that experience had shown him that “if you try to impose things on a company that has multiple different opportunities to do different things, they ‘I’m moving away. ”