Ayyyeee… What’s Goodie everyone. So I got some tea on the centers for disease expert Anthony Fauci.
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, warned of “suffering and death that could be avoided” and further economic damage if states reopen too quickly and said the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus is likely higher than the 80,000 reported. According to The Washington Post;
His comments came during highly anticipated Senate testimony Tuesday as he and other leading federal health officials were pressed on whether the country is ready to reopen. The chairman and witnesses are appearing remotely in an unusual session that includes the first congressional testimony from Fauci, a key member of the White House task force, since President Trump declared the coronavirus crisis a national emergency March 13.
Appearing with Fauci are Stephen Hahn, head of the Food and Drug Administration; Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Brett Giroir, an assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services who is in charge of coronavirus testing.
Fauci said the U.S. death toll is probably higher than the 80,000 deaths officially reported, and added that the virus will not disappear in the fall or winter, contradicting President Trump’s claims last week that the virus would go away even without a vaccine.
“I feel about vaccines like I feel about tests: This is going to go away without a vaccine,” Trump said Friday, adding that there could be “flare-ups,” including in the fall, but that covid-19 would go away regardless.
“That is just not going to happen,” Fauci said of the idea that the virus would disappear on its own. “It’s a highly transmissible virus. It is likely there will be virus somewhere on this planet that will likely get back to us.”
Fauci also agreed with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who said many experts have said that the death toll is higher than what’s been reported.
Fauci pointed to New York City, where he said the health care system faced an extraordinary challenge during the peak of the outbreak, and people could have died at home of coronavirus without being officially counted.
Pressed by Sen. Patty Murray (D- Wash.) Anthony Fauci warned that states that fail to obey federal reopening guidelines and move too quickly to restart their economies would put themselves at risk of new outbreaks that could be hard to control.
“If some areas, cities, states or what have you jump over those various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently, my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “I have been very clear in my message to try to the best extent possible to go by the guidelines, which have been very well thought out and very well delineated.”
Any loosening of restrictions, Fauci added, would lead to new cases, but those new cases could be manageable so long as states have the proper infrastructure in place. “It’s the ability and the capability of responding to those cases with good identification, isolation and contact tracing [that] will determine whether you can continue to go forward as you try to reopen America,” he said.
Murray also pressed Brett Giroir, the federal official overseeing coronavirus testing efforts, on a strategic testing plan required to be submitted later this month to Congress under the terms of recent legislation.
Giroir said that the administration had numerical targets in place for testing in each state but cautioned that they stand to be revised based on the course of the virus’s spread.
“Yes, there will be targets,” he said. “The targets will need to change based on the evidence that we see. So we really just need to be very humble about this. We need to look at the data.”