Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and a top adviser for the White House coronavirus task force, said Wednesday that he believes the new coronavirus will come and go in a typical seasonal cycle.
And that’s “good news,” as another doctor explained.
“It’s good news in the sense that it gives the country a break,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, according to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“If we have to live like this the rest of the year you can imagine what that’s going to do to the economy,” he said. “If it gets people back into the workplace even for a period of time until we see it start to go up again that would obviously be a benefit.”
Fauci: Seasonal cycles seem likely
Dr. Fauci’s remarks came during the coronavirus task force’s daily briefing on Wednesday at the White House.
“Would this possibly become a seasonal cyclic thing? And I’ve always indicated to you that I think it very well might,” Fauci noted.
“And the reason I say that is that what we’re starting to see now in the Southern Hemisphere — in southern Africa and in the Southern-Hemisphere countries — is that we’re having cases that are appearing as they go into their winter season,” Fauci said. “And if, in fact, they have a substantial outbreak, it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared that we’ll get a cycle around the second time.”
“What we’re doing, I believe, will prepare us well”
The potential of a cyclical pattern underscores the importance of working quickly to develop treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19, the doctor emphasized.
“Because I know we’ll be successful in putting this down now, but we really need to be prepared for another cycle,” he said. “And what we’re doing, I believe, will prepare us well.”
Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the task force, also seemed to indicate she shares Fauci’s view that the virus will come and go in cycles — three distinct waves, most likely.
“And so we’re dealing with Cycle A right now, not the one that could come in the fall of 2020 — although we’re getting prepared for it by the innovations that are being worked on — and not the 2021,” she said.
Some of those preparations include the production of medical equipment for hospitals. On Saturday, President Donald Trump invoked the powers of the Defense Production Act to order the production of 100,000 ventilators by GM — both for the U.S. and for other countries.