6 Surprising Revelations From Today's Big Coronavirus Hearing
On Tuesday, the nation's most famous infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was asked to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee as part of the oversight hearings on the Trump Administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Joined by CDC director Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, Stephen Hahn, head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health, he was asked to give his "unvarnished view of where we are in our fight against COVID-19." The group revealed some rather shocking information about the current state of the pandemic, when to expect a vaccine, and the super easy way that all of us can help prevent overwhelming the healthcare system during this trying time.
Parts of the Country Are Flattening the Curve, While Others Are Experiencing a "Disturbing Surge" of Cases
When asked for his "unvarnished view" about the United States is handling the pandemic, Dr. Fauci didn't hold back, admitting "it really is a mixed bag. While some states are doing a great job flattening the curve, others are experiencing pandemic peaks, resulting in a disturbing surge of infections."
"You have a very large country, very heterogeneous, major differences — for example, between the New York metropolitan area and Casper, Wyoming," but it's clear, Fauci continued, "we've been hit badly."
"Right now, for example, the New York metropolitan area, which has been hit extraordinarily hard, has done very well in bringing the cases down and using the guidelines that we have very carefully put together in a step-wise fashion to try and carefully reopen their city and their state. However, in other areas of the country we're now seeing a disturbing surge of infections that looks like it's a combination, but one of the things is an increase in community spread, and that's something that I'm really quite concerned about that and you know that this has been something that's been in the press over the past couple of days," Fauci said.
He Encourages More Contact Tracing
In order to flatten the curve in areas that are experiencing surges, he strongly urges continued contact tracing. "The way you address that — and I've said this over and over again — is you have to have the manpower, the system, the testing to identify, isolate and contact trace in an effective way so that when you see those increases, you can understand where they are coming from, and you can do something about them," he said.
The Next Few Weeks Will Be Crucial
According to Dr. Fauci, the next few weeks could be make-or-break in terms of the "disturbing" peaks of infection in hot spots around the country. "Right now the next couple of weeks are going to be critical in our ability to address those surgings that we're seeing in Florida, in Texas and in Arizona," he said.
Testing Is Not Going to Decrease — But Increase
Despite President Donald Trump's declaration that testing would start slowing down, according to Fauci the opposite is true. "In fact, we will be doing more testing," he said. "We're going to be doing more testing, not less."
We Will Have a Vaccine Soon—Possibly Sometime Within 2019
Dr. Anthony Fauci declared that vaccines are "the hallmark of all really defining responses that we have to virus diseases." "It is generally vaccines that put the nail in the coffin," he said, maintaining that one, currently entering phase three trial in July, could be ready by the end of the year. If this is the case, and he is "cautiously optimistic" that it is, they should be available to American public "within a year from when we started, which would put us at the end of this year and the beginning of 2021."
Getting a Flu Shot This Year Is Crucial
According to Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting the flu shot this year will save lives. "CDC has begun to prepare for months ahead, when the next season's influenza illness will occur simultaneously potentially with Covid-19, increasing the challenges on hospitals, health care professionals and the public," he explained. "This fall, before the seasonal circulation of influenza increases, I encourage the American people to be prepared and to embrace flu vaccination with confidence for yourself, your families in the communities. This single act will save lives."
And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.