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Dr. Fauci Warns "The Virus Is Not Going to Stop"

Here's what we need to do before a vaccine is available.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said he was "concerned" about President Trump's unwillingness to concede the election to President-Elect Joe Biden, in terms of how it would affect the country's fight against coronavirus, warning "this virus is not going to stop" because of politics. 

"Obviously it's something that we're concerned about," said Fauci on the Today show Monday, referring to the fact that transition procedures have not begun between the Trump and Biden camps. "I've served in six administrations, so I've seen a number of transitions, and I know that transitions are very important to get a smooth … I use the metaphor, essentially passing a baton without stopping running. You just want things to go very smoothly. So hopefully we'll see that soon." Read on to hear his further warnings, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.

Dr. Fauci Warned the "Virus is Just Going to Keep Going"

Fauci has been a member of the White House coronavirus task force since the beginning of the pandemic and has become famous for his candid, science-based assessments of what Americans should do to stop its spread. He has warned that this could be a "dark winter" as cases of the virus accelerate. 

"The virus is not going to stop and call a time out while things change," said Fauci on Monday. "The virus is just going to keep going."

Fauci said that vaccine development "is now going in the very, very strong right direction." In the past week, two potential vaccines produced by the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have been reported to be more than 90% effective. 

"The vaccines are effective," he added. "We want to get it approved as quickly as we possibly can. We want to get doses to people starting in December, and then we want to really get the ball rolling. As we get into January, February, and March, we want a smooth process with that. And the way you do that is by essentially having the two groups speak to each other and exchange information."

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"We Don't Have to Accept Major Surges," Says Fauci

In the meantime, the U.S. has set daily records for new coronavirus cases, and health officials worry that hospitals may become overrun by patients who need treatment. Fauci said it's important to continue with public health recommendations during this time.

"It's a very serious situation," said Fauci. "We know that this COVID fatigue, that people are just tired of the kinds of restrictions, but there are fundamental things that we talk about all the time — the physical distancing, the washing of hands, the universal wearing of masks, the staying away from crowds throughout the country. We don't have to accept major surges. We can blunt them." 

About the vaccine, Fauci said, "Help is on the way. It certainly is. But the fact that help is on the way should spur us even more to double down on some of the public health measures, to be able to use the combination of a vaccine and public health measures to turn this thing around."

As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Wear a face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.