The director of the U.S National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN during an interview on Sunday that the worst is still yet to come in the coronavirus pandemic which started 10 months ago.
The top infectious disease expert is now warning Americans to brace for post-holiday season “surge” in cases.
“We very well might see a post-seasonal — in the sense of Christmas, New Years — surge or as I’ve described it, a surge upon a surge,” Fauci told CNN anchor Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
Asked if he predicts that the “worst is still yet to come,” Dr. Fauci said, “I do.”
“If you look at the slope, the incline of cases we’ve experienced as we’ve got into the late fall and soon-to-be early winter, it really is quite troubling,” he said
Earlier this month, Dr Fauci told CNBC’s Meg Tirrell during a special edition of the “Healthy Returns” conference that between 75% and 85% of everyone in the U.S will need to be vaccinated for things to get back to normal. That would create an “umbrella” of immunity to prevent further spread of the virus, he said.
So far, nearly two million doses of the vaccines have been administered, which is below 20 million earlier expectation by December. But Dr. Fauci is confident that the U.S will “catch up” in the next few months. He said that the vaccine is still on track to reach healthy Americans by April.
“Of course, when you compare 2 million to 20 million, that’s a big difference,” he said.
“Whenever you roll out a large program that’s a comprehensive vaccine program with a brand new vaccine like this, in the beginning it always starts slow and then starts to gain momentum.”
“I believe we’ll catch up with the projection that by the time we get to April, mid-late April, you’ll have taken the high-priority people and already accounted for them and then anyone can get vaccinated,” Dr. Fauci said.