National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci agreed Wednesday morning that the worst is yet to come regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
When asked by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) during a congressional hearing to elaborate, Fauci said that community spread makes it difficult to contain the virus.
“Whenever you have an outbreak that you can start seeing community spread — which means by definition that you don’t know what the index case is and the way you can approach it is by contact tracing — when you have enough of that then it becomes a situation where you’re not going to be able to effectively and efficiently contain it,” Fauci said.
Fauci went on to cite the history of outbreaks, before arguing how community spread is worsened by people coming into the country.
“What you see now in an un-contained way, and although we are containing it in some respects, we keep getting people coming in from the country that are travel-related,” Fauci said. “We’ve seen that in many of the states that are now involved. And then when you get community spread, it makes the challenge much greater.”
Fauci went on to say that more cases will arise and “things will get worse than they are right now. ”
“How much worse we’ll get will depend on our ability to do two things: to contain the influx of people who are infected coming from the outside and the ability to contain and mitigate within our own country,” Fauci said. “Bottom line, it’s going to get worse.”
When Maloney asked whether the lack of testing means that there’s no way of knowing how many people are infected, Fauci agreed “that is correct.”
Watch Fauci’s remarks below:
Fauci: "Things will get worse than they are right now." pic.twitter.com/SmlA4O4gmd
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) March 11, 2020