Fauci Says Admin’s ‘Better Sense’ Of Coronavirus Is ‘Not Encouraging’

UNITED STATES - MARCH 4: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencie... UNITED STATES - MARCH 4: Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing on the National Institutes of Health Budget Request for FY2021, in Rayburn Building on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 8, 2020 1:54 p.m.
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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci added to the uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak during Sunday morning TV interviews.

After telling MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that the administration is “getting a better sense as the days go by,” Fauci also said that “unfortunately that better sense is not encouraging” due to community spread and that there won’t be a “vaccine that’s deployable for at least a year to a year and a half.”

When asked by Todd about “the most realistic way this ends,” Fauci responded that “it’s probably going to be a combination of both” immunity where “it just stops catching” and a vaccine that “ends this.”

However, Fauci was quick to point out that a vaccine won’t be deployable “for at least a year to a year and a half.” Todd went on to ask Fauci about whether the vaccine would be part of a flu shot, which Fauci replied that “it will be sort of that same thing” where “you’ll probably go in and just get an injection.”

“If this cycles through maybe even goes down a bit and comes back next year, that’s when you get public health plus a vaccine,” Fauci said. “We hope this just goes away, burns itself out, the way SARS did. But if it doesn’t and it cycles in a seasonal way, that’s when a vaccine comes in.”

Later in the interview, Todd asked Fauci whether he’s “more optimistic today” than last week.

“Well, it depends on what you mean by optimistic. We are certainly now that we have tests out and get a better handle,” Fauci said. “But clearly, I’m concerned about community spread.”

Watch Fauci’s remarks on MSNBC below:

Fauci also appeared on Fox News Sunday morning and reiterated how it’s going to take between a year and a year and a half for a vaccine.

When Fox News’ Chris Wallace told Fauci that he sounds like he thinks it will take longer than that, Fauci expressed confidence in coronavirus testing.

“The test we’re doing right now, getting to phase one trial, is the fastest we’ve ever done,” Fauci said. “Don’t confuse that with when you could put it in someone’s arm in a deployable way. So I think that we really need to realize that, for now, the answer is not going to be a vaccine. If, in fact, we go into a cycle, where we come back next year, then we likely would have some opportunity for a vaccine.”

After Wallace pointed out that there have been contradictions within the Trump administration about when and how many people can get tested, Fauci admitted that despite the tests that are “out there, there was a misstep early on.”

“Now, when you say that, they are out there, if you go to a doctor, it is up to the doctor to order the test, and if that happens, a person should have a test available,” Fauci said. “But it’s no doubt, Chris, you have to be realistic, early there were some missteps that delayed it.”

Watch Fauci’s remarks on Fox News below:

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