Anthony Fauci Explains How to End the COVID-19 Pandemic

Anthony Fauci has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for 36 years and has helped guide responses to a succession of viral epidemics: HIV/AIDS, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Ebola, and Zika, among others. President-elect Joe Biden recently appointed Fauci as his chief medical adviser. A voice of reason on the Trump administration’s novel coronavirus task force, the physician spoke to Scientific American about the next steps in the response to the COVID pandemic. During the discussion, Fauci highlighted an important gap in treatment options for newly infected people: more antiviral interventions are still needed for early cases of the disease—and, if successful, they could perhaps address future outbreaks that might be triggered by other emerging coronaviruses.

Coronavirus infections are surging exponentially. Can we still get them under control?

Yes, absolutely. I’ve been saying this every day. If we, uniformly throughout the country, implement public health guidelines—wearing masks, keeping physically distanced, avoiding crowded situations, doing things outdoors more than indoors and washing hands frequently—I believe we will see an effect. We know from experience that the states or cities or countries that have done this have always been able to blunt and mitigate the slope of a surging curve such as this one.

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