ANTHONY Fauci said the COVID-19 crisis will "continue for some time" in latest disagreement with Trump, who said it would "disappear."
On Friday, Fauci and his CDC colleague Robert Redfield testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis in Washington DC.
“While it remains unclear how long the pandemic will last, COVID-19 activity will likely continue for some time,” Fauci, Redfield and Health and Human Services testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir said in prepared written testimony.
Committee Chairman Clyburn addressed the disease experts and told Fauci he was "right" as the US approaches 150,000 deaths in previously saying the pandemic would get worse.
Fauci has asked officials to go back to public health basics such as social distancing and wearing masks after Trump indicated the virus would simply disappear.
"When you actually look at what we did …we really functionally shut down only about 50 percent … which means as we reached our peak … we came up, down, and then we plateaued.
"When we opened up the country particularly most recently in southern states … was an increase."
Fauci said that some states followed the CDC guidelines carefully – but others did not mandate social distancing or masks.
He told Rep Scalise that Trump's decision to ban travel from China was correct and "saved lives," likewise, with the travel ban on Europe.
Scalise also highlighted that five governors didn't follow nursing home procedures, which Giroir acknowledged.
When the subject of reopening schools arose, Redfield said he believed schools should reopen this fall when Scalise quizzed him.
"Clearly, we're seeing less reporting of it [child abuse]," Redfield said. "I do think it's really important to realize it's not public economy versus schools reopening.
"We've got to do it safely."
Fauci’s public recent message has been that Americans can’t afford a devil-may-care attitude toward COVID-19 and need to double down on basic measures such as wearing masks in public, keeping their distance from others and avoiding crowds and indoor spaces such as bars.
Redfield and Giroir have echoed these opinions.
Fauci’s dogged persistence has drawn the ire of some of President Donald Trump’s supporters and prompted a new round of calls for his firing.
But the veteran of battles against AIDS and Ebola has stuck to his message, while carefully avoiding open confrontations with the Trump administration.
"The body does make a robust immune response to coronavirus," Fauci said of a vaccine today, citing the trial phases.
"That was not rushing," he continued. "The early data from the phase one trial – and I'm sure other[s] … is going into phase three trials over next three months.
"There's never a guarantee that you're going to get a safe and effective vaccine … but we feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year."
Fauci said he hoped the Chinese and the Russians are actually testing their vaccines before giving it to people, calling it "problematic" otherwise.
He said he didn't believe the US would have to depend on other countries, saying this country's efforts were "prudent but rapid."
Fauci said he believed over a period of time in 2021 that "Americans will be able to get it" – but everyone won't have access to a vaccine immediately.
We feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year.
He said the Department of Defense and CDC would work together to distribute the vaccine and that the FDA had implemented all the necessary safety procedures.
"The commission of FDA Dr Stephen Hahn has assured me," he insisted.
Rep Jacqueline Walorski emphasized the Chinese "threat," saying the communist country were trying to interfere in the US' vaccine production.
Redfield and Fauci also commented on the "unintended consequences" of the COVID lockdowns, including drug and alcohol use and mental health.
More to follow…
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