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Former Washington Journalist
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Dr Anthony Fauci, the famed immunologist who is advising Donald Trump on the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic–and has increasingly become the public face in the crisis–is starting to offer Americans a glimmer of hope even as the deadly virus continues to spread.
There have been more than 855,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The virus has killed more than 42,000.
In the United States, there have been 190,022 cases of COVID-19, with 4,102 deaths, according to the most recent figures.
“If you look now, we’re starting to see glimmers that that is actually having some dampening effect. But that does not take away from the seriousness of what you just described on the show,” Dr Fauci said during an on-air TV interview. “We clearly are seeing cases going up. The people in New York are in a difficult situation, and what they’re trying to do appropriately is make the best of it by opening up facilities that might decompress the surge of cases that they’re having.
“And you described it very well, and that’s the reason why things like the Javits Center, getting the Comfort into the harbor, to be able to do that,” Dr Fauci added, referring to the huge US Navy hospital ship which has docked outside of New York City so as to add medical capacity in the area where the epicenter of the pandemic has been. “We’re still in a very difficult situation. We hope, and I believe it will happen, that we may start seeing a turnaround, but we haven’t seen it yet. We’re just pushing on the mitigation to hope that we do see that turnaround.”
Meanwhile, Dr Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the nation would be much better prepared should there be a second wave of the pandemic.
“No, Jim, if we do have a second wave, which as I mentioned publicly I think there is a reasonably good chance we will, given the pervasiveness of this infection and its transmisibility, I don’t think at all it will be as bad because we’ll have several things in our favor,” he told the on-air host during his CNN interview. “One, we’ll obviously be better prepared. We’d have better equipment, we’d be able to deal with it better. But also we have a number of drugs that are in a clinical trial and we’re pushing hard on the vaccine. Remember, I said a year to a year-and-a-half, so by next winter we may be able to even utilize that. So I think I can say with some confidence that if we indeed get that second wave, we will be much, much better prepared than we are right now.”
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