Dr. Fauci: It’s going to get worse
While testifying to the US Congress on Wednesday, Anthony Fauci, Medical Director, of the National Institutes of Health, offered a pithy but troubling rebuttal to President Donald Trump’s optimistic outlook on the coronavirus outbreak.
“Things will get worse than they are right now’’ if the disease is not contained, Fauci said.
He warned that “many, many millions” could be infected with the virus unless the government handles the situation correctly.
The remarks came as the United States surpassed 1,000 confirmed coronavirus cases. Twenty-nine people have died, most of them in Washington state.
Fauci’s remarks came in response to a simple question from Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., who chairs the House Oversight Committee. The committee was holding a hearing on the coronavirus response, as various committees have done in the past few months.
“Is the worst yet to come, Dr. Fauci?” asked Maloney.
“Yes, it is,” came the blunt answer from Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH and is renowned for his role in fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic that ravaged the United States in the 1980s and ’90s.
His unvarnished assessment stands in stark contrast to Trump’s view that the coronavirus is little more than a passing inconvenience that will dissipate with spring’s coming warm weather.
“Just stay calm,” Trump said on Tuesday. “It will go away. It’s really working out.”
In a statement to Yahoo News, White House spokesman Judd Deere said the virus “is a serious situation that is changing hourly, and the President has been leading from the very beginning to protect the health and safety of the American people.
“The President has also been very clear that the Vice President and the Coronavirus Task Force are doing an incredible job leading the whole-of-government approach in close coordination with the state and local leaders.”
“We will see more cases,” Fauci said. He said the severity of the outbreak will depend on stemming the influx of infected patients from other countries while containing the spread of the disease within the borders of the United States.
“Bottom line,” he told Maloney, “it’s going to get worse.
President Trump announces travel restrictions for Europe
In a related development, US President Donald Trump has opted to implement a travel ban amid the coronavirus pandemic – This comes after the World Health Organisation declared the situation a pandemic
President Donald Trump has announced that travellers from mainland Europe will be barred from entering the United States.
This ban will continue for the next 30-days amid fears of a rapidly spreading coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking during the announcement, Trump commented amid signs of a crisis in Europe:
“This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history.
Trump confirmed that the ban will come into effect at midnight on Friday, March 13, and would not include Britain.
Brief confusion came after Trump declared that a ‘tremendous amount of trade and cargo’ from the region would also be banned, but officials corrected that the restrictions would only apply to humans.
Ireland, Albania, Belgium, Sweden and Bulgaria has registered their first fatalities this week, bringing Europe’s total deaths to 930 out of over 22 000 infections.
Globally, the number of infections spiked to over 124 000 with 4, 5000 fatalities according to a report by AFP
. CNN reports that the US has at least 1,272 cases of the coronavirus and 38 deaths, according to state and local health agencies and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Recall that the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.
The declaration was made by WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
According to him, the outbreak is the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus.
The specific criteria for a pandemic are not universally defined, but there are three general criteria: a virus that can cause illness or death; sustained person-to-person transmission of that virus; and evidence of spread throughout the world
Culled from AP