Dr. Fauci: Big Country, Different Patterns: 'You've Got to Look at It in Different Ways'

By Susan Jones | March 26, 2020 | 9:51am EDT
President Donald Trump listens to Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci at the White House on March 24, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump listens to Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci at the White House on March 24, 2020. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Here in the United States, the coronavirus is spreading faster in some places than in others.

"We're a big country, and there are different patterns," Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Wednesday night.

"Remember, weeks ago, the hardest-hit part was in Washington State. And that was a cluster of nursing homes and extended care homes. That was a different kind of thing than what you see in New York City."

Fauci said New York -- and now New Orleans -- are severely affected because both experience a high volume of travelers who introduced the disease. "Whereas other areas of the country, although they're seeing cases, they're at different levels in that curve of kinetics."

Fauci said this is why a one-size-fits-all approach to the pandemic may not work:

It's accelerating. And what you've got to do is when you have a big country like this, you've got to look at it in different ways. Right now you wouldn't even think about not -- not putting the damper on what's going on in New York. That would be outlandish, as it's going up. No doubt.

But there are other parts of the country which we need to get a better feel for what is going on. And the way we do that is by increasing testing and identifying people who are infected, isolating them, getting them out of circulation and then do contact tracing. That's what we call containment.

So you can do containment and maybe ease up a bit in one area, whereas in other areas where it's mitigation, all you got to do is put all your resources in there to help the people who are under this stressful situation.

“So, different solutions for different parts of the country? Chris Cuomo asked Fauci: "So it isn't all or none," the doctor agreed.

As for a timeline on when the country can get back to normal, Fauci said that decision has to be driven by the data:

"What you've got to do, Chris, you've got to be realistic, and you've got to understand that you don't make the timeline. The virus makes the timeline. So you've got to respond in what you see happen. And if you keep seeing this acceleration, it doesn't matter what you say -- one week, two weeks, three weeks -- you've got to go with what the situation on the ground is.

"So when people say it may take months, I think what people are talking about is how long it takes to go all the way down. But you may see in a relatively shorter period of time, when you're seeing the inkling of the flattening and coming down, but, you know, you can't make an arbitrary decision until you see what you're dealing with. You need the data."

Asked if the virus will be a recurring menace, Fauci indicated it could be -- until a vaccine can be developed.

First of all, you know, again, after talking to my colleagues on the W.H.O. call, I think it's more likely than not that this is going to turn around and come back in another season. Because right now in the Southern Hemisphere, in southern Africa, they're starting to get cases as they go into their winter, and if that happens, this is not going to disappear. I don't think it will.

Which makes me more fortified, Chris, when you ask about how I feel about these things, of why we've got to get that vaccine tested, we've got to get it proven to be effective, and we got to get it out.

And we've got to develop drugs, so when we come around next year it is not like this again. Never again like this. So that we'll be prepared. We'll be a totally different ballgame if this comes back next winter, next fall. I'll guarantee you it will be different.





 

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