Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that Americans will likely need to continue to stay at home for several more weeks as the novel coronavirus continues to spread.
On Friday, the respected immunologist weighed in on the Today Show — provided via YouTube — about the lack of supplies for health care workers in the U.S. Dr. Fauci also spoke to the need for average people to pitch in to help curb the spread of the disease.
“If you look at the trajectory of the curves of outbreaks and other areas, at least going to be several weeks,” he said. “I cannot see that all of a sudden, next week or two weeks from now it’s going to be over. I don’t think there’s a chance of that. I think it’s going to be several weeks.”
Fauci has maintained that we won’t be certain the current guidelines — which call for people to avoid large crowds, and to maintain a healthy distance between individuals — have been effective in controlling the coronavirus outbreak for weeks to come.
President Donald Trump has said in the past that the virus may fade away as temperatures warm, something that sometimes happens with other flu outbreaks. Earlier this week, he predicted that the pandemic might fade by summer.
Fauci also said that while some people have accused the federal government of overreacting, he believes that the current situation calls for a dramatic response.
“I think we should do everything we possibly can do. I mean, in all sectors, because obviously as I’ve said so many times, when you think you’re maybe overreacting, you probably are not acting as forcefully as you should,” he said. “So as we’ve always said, we’ve got to try very much to stay ahead of the curve.”
Fauci also weighed in on Trump’s claim that an anti-malarial drug may have the potential to cure people impacted by the disease. He said that the claims about the drug are anecdotal at this point — and that no clinical trials have been done to test the drug — but also that the medicine could have the potential to be a useful tool in the future after further examination.
Dr. Fauci pushes back on the idea that he dismissed that Chloroquine could be effective against Coronavirus: “I’m not dismissing it at all and I hope that interpretation wasn’t widespread.” pic.twitter.com/2eFkIXlTop
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) March 20, 2020
The NIAID head then addressed the news that younger people are being impacted harder by the virus than was previously reported. He said that the data needs further examination before we can say for certain how the virus impacts young adults. That’s why, he says, young people should be trying to protect themselves from infection. Not only will these practices help to protect them if they are more susceptible, but distancing and quarantine procedures can aid younger people in protecting the vulnerable or immunocompromised.