Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday warned during a Senate hearing that the coronavirus was not under control in the United States.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday asked Dr. Fauci during a Senate health committee hearing about whether he believed the virus was contained.
“Right now it depends on what you mean by containment,” Fauci replied. “If you think that we have it completely under control, we don’t.”
Fauci noted positive news that lower rates of new infections and hospitalizations in hotspots like New York City but warned of spikes of infection in other areas.
“I think we are going in the right direction, but the right direction does not mean we have by in the means total control of this outbreak,” he said.
Democrats brought up President Donald Trump’s prediction that the virus was already going away without a vaccine, but Fauci disagreed.
“When you talk about, ‘will this virus just disappear,’ and as I’ve said publicly many times, that is just not going to happen because it’s such a highly transmissible virus,” Fauci said.
Fauci said that even though the United States could get control of the virus in the summer, it would return in the fall.
“[I]t is likely that there will be virus somewhere on this planet that will eventually get back to us,” he said.
Fauci said that America’s surge in testing and growing stockpiles of personal protective equipment would help prevent a resurgence of the virus in the fall.
“I hope that if we do have the threat of a second wave we will be able to deal with it very effectively to prevent it from becoming an outbreak not only worse than now but much, much less,” he said.
But Fauci disputed Warren predicting that there could be as many as 200,000 new coronavirus cases by June.
“I don’t foresee that as 200,000 new cases by June,” he said. “I am hoping and looking at the dynamics of things starting to flatten off and calm down that we will be much, much better than that, Senator.”