Anthony Fauci has warned that we must be prepared for COVID-19 to become “seasonal” and we could face a “second round,” of spread even once the current crisis has ended.
During a White House press briefing on Wednesday, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, suggested that COVID-19 could potentially become cyclical with weather patterns.
“The reason I say that is that 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. 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,” said Fauci.
Fauci, a public member of the White House coronavirus task force, said that phenomenon necessitates the development of a vaccine in the near future to mitigate future cases of COVID-19.
“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,” he concluded.
Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the task force, echoed Fauci’s assessment, saying the steps the Trump administration is taking to deter the spread of the virus are “dealing with Cycle A right now.”
Fauci has previously estimated that a vaccine for the novel coronavirus could potentially take up to a year to develop and distribute to the public. “It will take at least a year to a year-and-a-half to have a vaccine we can use,” Fauci said in early March.
Nearly 467,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus globally. Of those, at least 21,000 have died from it, and more than 113,000 have recovered. In the United States, there have been at least 65,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, more than 900 deaths, and 361 reported recoveries, according to the latest reading of the Johns Hopkins University tracker.