Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN that while a “second wave” of coronavirus infections “could happen,” another outbreak is “not inevitable.”
Fauci, who has been warning about a “second wave” for months, appeared to back off his dire predictions slightly. In April he said, “We will have coronavirus in the fall. I am convinced of that.”
He told The Washington Post this month that he has “no doubt” there will be new waves of cases.
Fauci’s comments came days after he told CNBC that stay-at-home orders intended to curb the spread of the coronavirus could end up causing “irreparable damage” if imposed for too long.
“I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go,” Fauci said during an interview Friday with CNBC’s Meg Tirrell on “Halftime Report.”
Fauci also threw cold water on any hope that hydroxychloroquine could prove the “miracle drug” some claimed it to be.
Fauci said Wednesday that “the lack of efficacy” for anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which has been touted by Trump as a game-changer against the coronavirus, is clear.
A study published Friday in medical journal The Lancet found that hospitalized Covid-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine had a higher risk of death than those who didn’t take it.
Earlier Wednesday, France said it banned the use of the potential treatment. On Monday, the World Health Organization said it temporarily suspended its trial of hydroxycholoroquine over safety concerns.
But Fauci seemed even more optimistic about a possible vaccine by January.
We have a good chance—if all the things fall in the right place—that we might have a vaccine that would be deployable by the end of the year, by November-December,” Dr. Fauci said on CNN Wednesday morning.
Fauci explained that the vaccine trials with Niaid are proceeding “at risk,” meaning researchers are taking “the next steps before the results of the previous step,” which can shorten the development process by months.
The naysayers are telling us what can’t be done. The risk-takers and innovators are saying “when do you need it?”
Many pharmaceutical companies are racing to produce a vaccine as quickly as possible; Pfizer chief Albert Bourla has challenged his team to a “moon-shot-like goal” of having millions of doses of a vaccine distributed to the public by the end of the year.
The FDA has fast-tracked vaccine trials and the Department of Health and Human Services has already signed contracts ordering $100 million worth of needles and syringes for a “Covid-19 mass vaccination campaign.”
I believe that if Joe Biden or (God help us) Barack Obama had been president, the results would have been pretty much the same… except the whole nation would have been under lockdown and Washington would have told us when it was OK to go back to work. I also doubt very sincerely that a liberal-managed FDA would have “fast-tracked” anything, much less a vaccine.
The government would be sitting on Big Pharma, looking over their shoulder instead of encouraging them in a race to find a vaccine. That’s the advantage of having a free-marketeer as president.
Should we be encouraged by Fauci’s change of emphasis? I think it very significant that one of the president’s critics would offer a ray of hope like that. Let’s hope he’s right.
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