After a string of good news about the coronavirus—cases, deaths and hospitalizations continue to fall—lately there has been concerning news, as the new Delta variant is proving more transmissible, leaving people, especially the unvaccinated, in peril. Although he has warned about this variant recently, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also appeared on Kara Swisher’s Sway podcast, published this morning, to talk about another threat possible in the future. Read on to see how you might be in danger, and how to protect yourself—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It.
What’s Fauci’s worst nightmare? “Twenty years ago, people would ask me the same question and my, if you go back over the records, which is easy to do, you would see that I consistently gave the same answer. And that is the emergence of a new virus or respiratory borne virus that would jump species from an animal host to a human that would have two characteristics, one, it would be highly efficient transmissibility through the respiratory route. And two, it would have a very high degree of capability of morbidity and mortality for the human population. And unfortunately we’re living through my worst nightmare.”
“Do you have a worse than a worst nightmare?” asked Swisher of Fauci. “If this happens now, which it is that it can happen again and it could even possibly be worse,” he said. COVID “is an unusual virus because you know, about a third to 40% of the people get no symptoms at all. Yet it’s capable of killing 600,000 Americans. We’ve never had a situation like that where a virus that would be benign for almost half the people or 40% of the people and yet kill so many people. So the possibility that can occur in the future, that you could get a pandemic that would be essentially more uniform in its deleterious effect.”
Dr. Fauci would like to know back then—when the pandemic started—what he knows now about COVID, but….”I don’t think it would’ve worked,” he said. “Because I don’t think I would have convinced anybody. So let’s go back to the first case that we recognized was January 21st. You know, there was a handful of cases probably that,” no one recognized. “If we had said, then let’s shut everything down, if I had said that people would have looked at me like I was crazy. ‘Are you talking about shutting down the government when you’ve had 17 cases?’ No way, but looking back at what if might have stopped this a bit, it would have been that, but that would have been unacceptable to society. Even now, when we have absolute proof that this virus has killed 600,000 Americans, we still have people that don’t want to get vaccinated.”
“Let me be clear,” said Fauci, “I believe that there are a lot of people who don’t want to get vaccinated, that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them at all. They just need more information. So, you know, you get to herd immunity. You know what the best way to get the herd immunity is get vaccinated.”
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When it comes to preventing a future pandemic, “we have two ways of preparing,” said Fauci. “You’ve got to prepare at the global level, have universal standards of communication, of surveillance, of those kinds of things, and diagnostic capabilities. And you’ve got to make an investment in science. The investment in science that we have made over decades allowed us to do what some people would have thought was impossible to go from the awareness of a new virus in January to a highly effective vaccine in December.” And to get through life at your healthiest, don’t miss these First Signs You Have a Serious Illness.