Fauci warned that coronavirus could likely become seasonal

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speak during a press briefing with the coronavirus task force, at the White House, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) Associated Press
  • Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Sunday that the novel coronavirus outbreak could become “seasonal.”
  • Fauci said that the difficulty in containing the outbreak globally meant there could be a resurgence in the outbreak by next season.
  • Officials should prepare for a second rise of the virus by pushing for increased resources, including a vaccine, Fauci said.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said Sunday that the novel coronavirus could likely become “seasonal” as he emphasised the possibility of a resurgence in the outbreak later this year.

Fauci said on CBS’s “Face The Nation” that even if the global number of cases shrinks to a significantly low number, the difficulty in containing the outbreak means it is “unlikely to be completely eradicated from the planet,” and the next season could see a second rise of the outbreak.

In that case, Fauci said the federal government is “pushing so hard” to improve its preparedness, including developing a vaccine and completing “clinical trials on therapeutic interventions.”

“Hopefully, if in fact we do see that resurgence, we will have interventions that we did not have in the beginning of the situation that we’re in right now,” he said.

Fauci previously said that the earliest the US could get a coronavirus vaccine would be in 12 to 18 months, an impressive timeline for a vaccine, as fundraisers like Bill Gates rushed to support early-stage candidates.

There are currently at least 40 vaccines for the novel coronavirus in development according to the World Health Organisation, some of which have advanced to conducting human trials.

The infectious disease expert also said Sunday that it would be “a false statement” to say the US government has the outbreak “under control,” despite President Donald Trump’s regular reassurances on behalf of his administration.

The US is currently the global epicentre for the pandemic, with more than 324,000 cases and at least 9,100 deaths.