America could start turning the corner in the battle against the coronavirus sooner than expected, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The prominent immunologist told NBC’s Today on Thursday that around 60,000 Americans could die from the virus — a drastic downgrade from the Trump administration’s original projections of up to 240,000 deaths, as Axios noted– and that the so-called infection “curve” may soon flatten. While it’s certainly good news, Dr. Fauci and others have come under fire in recent days for appearing to have initially overestimated the virus’ impact.
“But having said that, we better be careful that we don’t say, ‘OK, we’re doing so well we can pull back.’ We still have to put our foot on the accelerator when it comes to the mitigation and the physical separation,” Fauci declared, according to Axios.
Fauci revises fatality estimate
Fox News reported that the Trump administration warned that this week would be a solemn one, and the death rate has indeed been staggering, with thousands of new fatalities. But cautious optimism has crept into Dr. Fauci’s tone, as the rate of hospitalizations in places like New York, the American epicenter of the outbreak, appears to be on the decline.
“There are some glimmers of hope, particularly when you look at the situation in New York, where the number of hospitalizations, requirements for intensive care and intubation, over the last few days have actually stabilized and starting to come down. So even though we’re seeing that increase in deaths, as we’ve seen unfortunately like yesterday, was the worst day for deaths that we’ve seen thus far. But what feeds that is the number of new cases,” he told Today, according to The Hill.
Dr. Fauci said that he is “cautious” about declaring that Americans have turned the corner, but he thinks that the “curve” could soon start to “flatten.” Not only that, but the number of mortalities may be fewer than expected, too. The White House warned just days ago that 100,000 to 240,000 people may die in total, but Fauci told NBC that he believes the toll may drop to around 60,000, thanks to diligent social distancing.
“The real data are telling us that it is highly likely that we’re having a definite positive effect by this mitigation things that we’re doing — this physical separation — so I believe we are gonna see a downturn in that. And it looks more like the 60,000 than the 100,000 to 200,000,” Fauci said, according to Axios.
Experts slammed over reversal
While seen as a voice of authority on Trump’s coronavirus team, Fauci’s admittedly narrow way of looking at things — through the lenses of the medical profession, mostly, with not much consideration to the impact of his suggestions on the economy — has been controversial. The immunologist has consistently said that the virus is what must set the timeline for the lifting of lockdowns, but many are eager to get back to their normal lives, especially in light of the economic catastrophe inflicted by social distancing and the dramatically revised fatality projections.
Some have begun to question the job done by the “experts” in this crisis and the overall impact of their draconian recommendations. Fox News host Tucker Carlson, for example, has criticized apparently unreliable authorities and questioned the wisdom of putting them in charge of the country, balking at Fauci’s recommendation that lockdowns continue indefinitely until a vaccine is developed.
Dr. Fauci has also raised eyebrows by suggesting that people should never shake hands again, even after the virus passes, according to the New York Post. He told Today host Savannah Guthrie that he was “somewhat” serious about this. Even now, Dr. Fauci is recommending that Americans return to normal life only slowly and cautiously.
“When we attempt to get back to normal, we have to have in place the ability, when it starts to try and rear its ugly head, we can absolutely suppress it by identification, isolation, contact tracing,” he said, according to NBC.
Is social distancing working, or did the so-called experts just screw this one up? Either way, it’s good news.