WASHINGTON – Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared to contradict President Donald Trump’s notion that the coronavirus may not reappear for a second wave in the fall.
“It may not come back at all,” Trump said Wednesday during a White House briefing.
He discussed the return of COVID-19 after quibbling with a report that said CDC Director Robert Redfield warned of a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak in the fall that could be worse because it could coincide with the opening of the flu season.
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“He’s talking about a worst-case scenario where you have a big flu and you have some (coronavirus). And if it does come back, it’s not going to come back … like it was. Also, we have much better containment now,” Trump said.
“Before nobody knew about it. Nobody knew anything about it. Now, if we have pockets, a little pocket here or there, we’re going to have it put out. It goes out, and it’s going to go out fast. We’re going to be watching for it. But it’s also possible it doesn’t come back at all.”
The president claimed a comeback of coronavirus later in the year will not be “anything near what we went through,” regarding the pandemic that is still ongoing.
Trump’s comments come as medical experts have warned the country may not return to normal life regarding social distancing until there is a vaccine.
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Experts have also assured the public the country will be better prepared to fight a second wave by developing therapeutics and stocking up with equipment, like ventilators.
Fauci, a key member of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, reiterated this Wednesday.
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“We will have coronavirus in the fall,” he said. “I am convinced of that because of the degree of transmissibility that it has, the global nature. What happens with that will depend on how we’re able to contain it when it occurs.”
The COVID-19 outbreak has killed nearly 47,000 people in the U.S. and more than 183,000 worldwide, according to the data Wednesday from Johns Hopkins University.
This outbreak became widespread in March when the number of flu cases normally begins to taper off. Redfield warned that if hospitals had to respond to another coronavirus outbreak at the same time as flu cases, both of which affect the respiratory system, the health care system could be overwhelmed.
Contributing: William Cummings
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: Dr. Anthony Fauci says ‘I am convinced’ of a second wave.