‘Worst nightmare’: Fauci warns that coronavirus pandemic ‘isn’t over yet’

Speaking at a convention held by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) on June 9, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the coronavirus crisis, which he referred to as his “worst nightmare,” is far from over, the New York Times reported.

“In a period of four months, it has devastated the whole world,” said Fauci adding that the threat of the virus “isn’t over yet.”

Fauci, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director, and Moncef Slaoui, U.S. Operation Warp Speed Chief Advisor spoke during a virtual conference hosted by BIO, running June 8-12. 

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What concerned the nation’s top infectious disease expert most regarding COVID-19 was “how rapidly it just took over the planet.”

Medical experts have warned that individuals who contracted COVID-19 but exhibited none of the common symptoms were rapidly contributing to the high surge of infections.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously noted that some people who contract COVID-19 may not show any symptoms until 14 days after being infected. Some may never show symptoms at all.

Fauci’s comments at the recently recorded convention reiterated the concern that there is still much that health officials still don’t know about the virus. 

The World Health Organization walked back comments on Tuesday it had previously made regarding asymptomatic individuals and how much they contribute to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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On Monday, Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, said she believed the spread of the coronavirus from people who are asymptomatic is “rare.”

“From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual,” said Van Kerkhove.

But Van Kerkhove clarified her comments the next day on June 9, calling them a “misunderstanding,” adding that there is still much the organization doesn’t know about how the virus spreads.

“The majority of transmission that we know about is that people who have symptoms transmit the virus to other people through infectious droplets, but there are a subset of people who don’t develop symptoms and to truly understand how many people don’t have symptoms, we don’t actually have that answer yet,” said Van Kerkhove at a press briefing.

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With billions being invested into the speedy creation of a coronavirus vaccine, Fauci warned that price controls imposed on drug manufacturers by the U.S. could undermine the success of controlling the pandemic. 

“If you try to enforce things on a company that has multiple different opportunities to do different things, they will walk away,” Fauci said. 

Speaking on drug makers, Fauci said “it’s a profit-driven industry.” But he affirmed that companies who are manufacturing a vaccine “will in good faith make it available to those groups, countries, nations that really can’t afford it very well.” 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.