Skip to main content

Fauci: No one can predict how bad the pandemic will get this fall

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies before a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on Capitol Hill on July 31, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, shown here testifying before a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31 in Washington, D.C.
(Image: © Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

As the school year approaches and flu season looms on the horizon, the U.S. continues to battle a worsening coronavirus pandemic. No one can predict how the pandemic will play out in the fall, the nation's top infectious disease expert said today.

"I do not know...nor can anyone know what the fall is going to bring," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said today (Aug. 3) during a Q&A put together by the Journal JAMA Network. Back in the spring, when the coronavirus was mainly ravaging the northeast, there was talk of a "second wave" in the fall, Fauci said. That was assuming these numbers would have dropped down to a baseline...but they have not.

"You look at our numbers now...we're right in the middle of the first wave here," he said. For the past couple of weeks, the U.S. has been tallying more than 60,000 cases a day and for the past week, around 1,000 deaths per day.

Related: Coronavirus Live Updates

"We've got to get those numbers down, if we don't get them down then were going to have a really bad situation in the fall," Fauci said.

That's because as the weather cools down, people start going indoors — where the virus spreads more easily — and the fall also marks the start of the flu season, he said.

There are "five easy things that one can do to try and turn that curve around so that as we enter the fall we're really at a low baseline," Fauci said. These handful of actions, we know from experience, can help blunt resurgences and prevent new ones from occurring, he said. 

The first is consistent — and correct — wearing of masks. Studies have shown that masks work to prevent disease spread. For example, a visualization showed that without a mask, droplets from coughing could travel up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) but that masks can limit that distance, sometimes to a few inches, according to a previous Live Science report.

The second and third are avoiding crowds and keeping distances of 6 feet (1.8 meters) or more between you and others, he said. The fourth is staying away from bars or places where people congregate and attending functions outdoors rather than indoors, he said. The fifth is washing your hands. 

If left to its own devices, the virus "is going to keep resurging," Fauci said. The only way we can stop it is through such countermeasures, he added. "And it can be done. It's not inevitable" that the virus will resurge, he said.

The country has recorded more than 4.6 million COVID-19 cases and 155,124 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the Johns Hopkins dashboard.

Originally published on Live Science.

  • RobertPolaris
    Considering the virus has a 97 to 99% recovery rate I feel that Livescience ans another outlet that feeds this as a pandemic is the problem and not the virus itself. Get over it,
    Reply
  • jbundy48
    RobertPolaris said:
    Considering the virus has a 97 to 99% recovery rate I feel that Livescience ans another outlet that feeds this as a pandemic is the problem and not the virus itself. Get over it,
    You mean like 158,000 deaths and climbing daily? Just get over it? What are your human values?
    Reply
  • DianeMP
    RobertPolaris said:
    Considering the virus has a 97 to 99% recovery rate I feel that Livescience ans another outlet that feeds this as a pandemic is the problem and not the virus itself. Get over it,

    Considering I'm 72, have severe asthma and an enlarged heart because of it, my recovery rate will be 0%. I don't expect you to care about the millions of Americans in this position, many younger than I, as you demonstrate 0% empathy. I do wonder about your definition of the term "pandemic," though. Are viruses exempt from suspicion as causes of pandemics, since you are thinking it's "Livescience ans another oultet" causing the problem, not the virus. Maybe it's just this virus that is not "feed this as a pandemic." I don't know, I'm just trying to sort out your reasoning, here... :unsure:
    Reply
  • diemaloha
    Robt. P. thoughts and prayers when it's your turn. it's the least we can do for someone like you.

    and yes, at least 158,000 Americans really got over it.
    Reply
  • NorthernLights
    RobertPolaris said:
    Considering the virus has a 97 to 99% recovery rate I feel that Livescience ans another outlet that feeds this as a pandemic is the problem and not the virus itself. Get over it,


    I find your comment callous and disgusting. 150,000-plus people have died in this country and we're supposed to "get over it". I don't believe I will. Each life lost was precious and the deaths were avoidable.
    Reply
  • RobertPolaris
    jbundy48 said:
    You mean like 158,000 deaths and climbing daily? Just get over it? What are your human values?
    Yup, I mean exactly that, now I am not sure where you found your number (I am guessing you are American) but lets look at it...percentage wise based on population (331002651) that is only 0.047733756670124% of the U.S. population. Compared with Ebola that was ranging from 22% to 88%. In the current outbreak, the average case fatality rate was 50%, and you do recall how we dealt with that don't you? Yup, we lived our life as we always did for the most part but with no government interference. Consider the fact that for my state it is now mandatory to wear a mask, but voluntary to stay quarantined if you have the virus, that is some dumb stuff right there. Major inconsistency. Oh, and more than half the U.S. do not wear masks that will prevent the spread of corona anyhow so yet again why make ppl do something without having them do it correctly?My human values? Lets treat this like Ebola, and stop acting foolish and being sold on hype on this "pandemic" the does not even fit the description of what one is...main thing one does is it spreads rapidly...this does not...be educated and informed, yeah we need to get over it and stop being force fed this crap. Don't be sold on the news adage "if it bleeds it reads".
    Reply
  • RobertPolaris
    NorthernLights said:
    I find your comment callous and disgusting. 150,000-plus people have died in this country and we're supposed to "get over it". I don't believe I will. Each life lost was precious and the deaths were avoidable.
    Then you are ignorant on what my comment was directed to, it is the fact that the news is selling fear and not facts and it is the news media that my comment was directed to " I feel that Livescience ans another outlet that feeds this as a pandemic is the problem". But you lie others do not really read what is said sadly, you only think of how you want to respond.

    Now I am not sure where you found your number (I am guessing you are American) but lets look at it...percentage wise based on population (331002651) that is only 0.045316857598219% of the U.S. population. Compared with Ebola that was ranging from 22% to 88%. In the current outbreak, the average case fatality rate was 50%, and you do recall how we dealt with that don't you? Yup, we lived our life as we always did for the most part but with no government interference. Consider the fact that for my state it is now mandatory to wear a mask, but voluntary to stay quarantined if you have the virus, that is some dumb stuff right there. Major inconsistency. Oh, and more than half the U.S. do not wear masks that will prevent the spread of corona anyhow so yet again why make ppl do something without having them do it correctly? Lets treat this like Ebola, and stop acting foolish and being sold on hype on this "pandemic" the does not even fit the description of what one is...main thing one does is it spreads rapidly...this does not...be educated and informed, yeah we need to get over it and stop being force fed this crap. Don't be sold on the news adage "if it bleeds it reads".
    Reply
  • RobertPolaris
    diemaloha said:
    Robt. P. thoughts and prayers when it's your turn. it's the least we can do for someone like you.

    and yes, at least 158,000 Americans really got over it.
    I don't need prayers, I only need the odds, look at how many recover from it, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University and Medicine, more than 1 million Americans have recovered from COVID-19. They got over it...but sadly you did not really read my comment, it is the fact that the news is selling fear and not facts and it is the news media that my comment was directed to " I feel that Livescience ans another outlet that feeds this as a pandemic is the problem" and that is what we need to "get over". But you like others do not really read what is said sadly, you only think of how you want to respond.
    Reply
  • RobertPolaris
    DianeMP said:
    Considering I'm 72, have severe asthma and an enlarged heart because of it, my recovery rate will be 0%. I don't expect you to care about the millions of Americans in this position, many younger than I, as you demonstrate 0% empathy. I do wonder about your definition of the term "pandemic," though. Are viruses exempt from suspicion as causes of pandemics, since you are thinking it's "Livescience ans another oultet" causing the problem, not the virus. Maybe it's just this virus that is not "feed this as a pandemic." I don't know, I'm just trying to sort out your reasoning, here...
    "Because of it" so you are saying you have it? I am sorry you do but I must point out that Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London and his colleagues estimated in their paper, published in Lancet Infectious Diseases those in their 70s only 8.6% have died from it. But let me address my reasoning...my comment about to get over it was addressed to the media that is selling fear. Have you ever heard the saying "if it reads it bleeds"? So it is behooves the news to focus on the negative. So my 0% empathy is to the news outlets. Now I have coronary artery disease , diabetes, hypothyroid, nephropathy just to rattle off a few of my problems. I have no fear of the virus.

    Now truthfully I am not in the inclination to believe what you are saying, but just trolling. Because if you did know the facts...millions of Americans are not in your position that it is terminal, but I will share some good news...millions of Americans have recovered from the virus!https://www.wtvy.com/2020/07/13/johns-hopkins-1-million-americans-have-recovered-from-covid-19/ :love:
    Reply