Fauci Raises Possibility Of ‘Very Severe’ Scenario As Coronavirus Cases Increase

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks to the press outside the White House March 12, 2020, in Washington, DC. - Between 70 to 150 million people in the United States ... National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci speaks to the press outside the White House March 12, 2020, in Washington, DC. - Between 70 to 150 million people in the United States could eventually be infected with the novel coronavirus, according to a projection shared with Congress, a lawmaker said March 12, 2020. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told the hearing: "We really need to be careful with those kinds of predictions because that's based on a model." (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 15, 2020 3:04 p.m.
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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director and coronavirus task force member Anthony Fauci couldn’t offer any assurance regarding an end to the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. during a series of interviews Sunday morning.

Just two days after President Trump declared a national emergency over the coronavirus outbreak, Fauci fielded a number of questions about the country’s future as cases of the virus continue to increase.

Here are key takeaways from Fauci’s Sunday morning appearances:

Fauci would “like to see a dramatic diminution” of in-person interactions

During an interview on CNN, Fauci urged that Americans “need to be very serious” about how “life is not going to be the way it used to be,” before being asked if he’d like to see a national lockdown that bans people from going out to places such as restaurants and bars.

“I would like to see a dramatic diminution of the personal interaction we see in restaurants and in bars,” Fauci said. “Whatever it takes to do that, that’s what I would like to see.”

Watch Fauci’s remarks on CNN below:

Fauci is “not sure” about the outbreak’s duration

Fauci told Fox News’ Chris Wallace about the need to be “ahead of the curve” and he’d like to be “criticized for being overreactive.”

“When you are dealing with a virus outbreak, you’re always behind where you think you are,” Fauci said. “So therefore, you’ve got to jump ahead and stay ahead of the curve.”

Wallace then asked Fauci about how he and President Trump at one point mentioned eight weeks regarding the outbreak’s disruptions to everyday life and whether he suggested that meant being on the “other side of the curve” in eight weeks “if we do everything right.”

“First of all, we have to say that people don’t misunderstand, we are not sure what the duration is going to be,” Fauci said. “Number two, if you look at what happened in China where they had that peak and then they are coming down — there are only 11 new cases in China —they dominated the new cases just a few months ago. So if it started off in China, two or three months ago, they started coming down within a two month period.”

Watch Fauci’s remarks on Fox News below:

Fauci says administration is “open-minded” about future travel restrictions

When asked by ABC News’ Jon Karl about the possibility of more travel restrictions, including domestic, Fauci said that travel restrictions “have not been seriously discussed.”

“I mean, they’ve been discussed, but not seriously discussed,” Fauci said. “I don’t see that right now or in the immediate future. But remember, we are very open-minded about whatever it takes to preserve the health of the American public.”

Watch Fauci’s remarks on ABC News below:

Fauci says he could see more “severe” scenarios in hospitals

After agreeing with CBS’ Margaret Brennan that hospitals could possibly become more overwhelmed, Fauci said that it’s “conceivable” for a “very severe” scenario, before adding “that’s the reason why you have things like the strategic national stockpile for ventilators and things like that.”

Asked to respond to the concern about shortages of key supplies such as ventilators, Fauci responded that “we would be unrealistic if we were not concerned that that possibility exists.”

Fauci went on to say that there’s “absolute, 100 percent take that to the bank” planning to address the shortages of key supplies.

Watch Fauci’s remarks on CBS below:

Fauci warns Americans to prepare to “hunker down significantly more”

When asked by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd about whether he prefers a 14-day national shutdown to slow down the outbreak, Fauci responded that he “would prefer as much as we possibly could” and that “we should really be overly aggressive and get criticized for over-reacting.”

Todd then asked if he’s made that point of view known inside the administration. After Fauci responded “yes,” he denied getting pushback and insisted that “they listen and they generally go with what we say.”

Asked if it’s possible for more closures, Fauci said that Americans should prepare to “hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing.”

Watch Fauci’s remarks on MSNBC below:

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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