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Dr. Fauci Just Said When We Can Stop Being Scared of COVID-19

“The best way to stop this is to just suppress the virus to a very, very low level.”
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

When can we stop being scared of the coronavirus? Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke with radio host Hugh Hewitt about the worst case scenario—and the best, including when enough Americans may be vaccinated so we can worry less. Read on to see his answer—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus

Dr. Fauci Said the Only Way to Slow COVID From Mutating Into Something Deadlier is to Suppress It

Concerned about the COVID-19 variants, which have been proven to be more transmissible and some thought to be more deadly, Hewitt asked Dr. Fauci "when will you expect to reach stability with the virus, meaning that you are sure it cannot evolve into something more deadly or more contagious or more evasive than the current vaccines can cope with."

"You know, you'll never reach that," said Dr. Fauci. "As long as there's virus circulating in the community, viruses don't mutate, unless they replicate. If you prevent their replication by suppressing the spread in the community. At that point, you'll reach the area where you're talking about where it's not going to change any, but as long as there's like right now, we have in our own country about 50,000 new infections each day, with that much viral dynamics going on, there's always the threat and the reality of the evolution of variants. So the best way to stop this is to just suppress the virus to a very, very low level."

Hence his emphasis on getting Americans vaccinated.

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Dr. Fauci Said COVID Will Keep Coming Back Unless the World Stops It

Hewitt noted that "the 1918 influenza went through 12 iterations in the summer of 18, but it actually got started in 17. When will we be, do you think we'll be past a danger point in the virus's ability to go very bad for very many people?" he wondered.

"Great question," said Fauci, "and that's the reason why we often say a global pandemic requires a global response because even if we—and I believe we will, within a quite a reasonable period of time—suppress the virus in this country and in places in the developed world—the European Union, Canada, Australia, et cetera—where there's the resources to vaccinate essentially the entire population, then you could get good suppression and feel comfortable. However, as long as there's virus replicating in a robust way, anywhere in the world, there's always the danger that mutants and variants will evolve and ultimately get back to whatever countries successfully suppressed it."

"So," Fauci said, "that's the reason why you're hearing a lot about a global effort to suppress this. Cause we've got to suppress it throughout the entire world, because if you're doing fine in this country, and then there were regions of the world where there's outbreaks, the virus is going to continue to mutate. Then ultimately, because of the extraordinary extensive travel we have throughout the world, it's ultimately going to get back to the countries that suppressed it. So that's the reason why…we [have] a number of mechanisms, including COVAX"—aka COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines —"to make sure that virtually all the countries in the world will have the capability of suppressing it."

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Dr. Fauci Said By the Time We Get to Early Summer, the Picture Will Be Rosier

Hewitt then asked again about the 1918 flu, which killed up to 100 million people before eventually "fading away," he wondered: "is it still a possibility that such a ravaging could occur?…Can you rule it out?"

"You never could rule those things out," said Fauci. "But the likelihood of that happening is extraordinarily low, given the fact that we have multiple highly efficacious vaccines. So, I mean, right now, for example, you know, we've vaccinated completely about 13 or 14% of the population. And even maybe 24% have at least one dose. By the time we get into the late spring and early summer, we're going to have a lot more people vaccinated. So I think the likelihood of the scenario that you're pointing out is going to be extremely unlikely."

As for yourself, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more about Alek