One of the leading figures on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force says the world may get another go-around with COVID-19.
Dr. Anthony Fauci warned at a White House press briefing Wednesday that the coronavirus could “become a seasonal, cyclic thing” and said the world should “be prepared for another cycle,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“I think [this] gets back to the question that many of you in the audience have asked of us…would this possibly become a seasonal cyclic thing? And I’ve always indicated to you that I think it very well might,” Fauci said Wednesday, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by RealClearPolitics.
Fauci explained that the novel coronavirus disease is now making its way to the Earth’s Southern Hemisphere as winter there begins.
“What we’re starting to see now, in the Southern Hemisphere…is that we’re having cases that are appearing at they go into their winter season,” Fauci said, according to the Examiner. “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.”
According to Fauci, this means the world shouldn’t back down from developing measures to help prevent the disease’s spread in the future — even if the outbreak dies down. “It totally emphasizes the need to do what we’re doing in developing a vaccine, testing it quickly, and trying to get it ready so that we’ll have a vaccine available for that next cycle,” the doctor declared Wednesday, according to RealClearPolitics.
He went on to stress the importance of having “a menu of drugs that we have shown to be effective and shown to be safe” to treat the virus.
“I know we’ll be successful in putting this down now. But we really need to be prepared for another cycle. And what we’re doing, I believe, will prepare us well,” Fauci concluded, according to the Examiner.
“Planning for the future”
Later in the presser, Dr. Deborah Birx, who serves as the task force’s response coordinator, reiterated Fauci’s point. “We’re dealing with Cycle A right now,” she said, according to a White House transcript. “We’re really dealing with the here and now, while we’re planning for the future.”
But that planning can only go so far. As Fauci noted earlier this month, though vaccine research is being done “in record time,” a usable product is still a long way off.
“I want to make sure people understand, and I’ve said that over and over again, that does not mean we have a vaccine that we can use,” Fauci warned as trials for a vaccine were first getting underway, according to CNBC. “We mean it’s record time to get it tested. It’s going to take a year to a year and a half to really know if it works.”
Hopefully, we’ll get that answer sooner than later — especially if this disease is going to come rolling around again.