Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious diseases expert on the White House coronavirus task force, appeared on MSNBC Sunday evening to speak about when the administration concluded that coronavirus was a threat and how Chinese "misinformation" about whether the virus could spread person-to-person delayed the U.S. response.
Fauci said he decided it was a danger to America after "it was clear that some of the misinformation we initially got from China -- their first cases were reported at the very end of December... They said it was something like 24 cases in this 'wet market' where these exotic animals are sold."
"The proposal made by the authorities in China where this was just jumping from an animal to a human, and it wasn’t spread from human-to-human. Then it became clear, when you look back, that it was likely in China that there was human-to-human spread."
"By the time we got that information and we started getting cases here, it was, 'well, it’s not efficiently spread from human-to-human.' But as soon as it became clear that there was community spread, which means that it isn't just a travel-related case, that there are cases that are in the community under the radar screen, then it became clear that we were in real trouble," Fauci said.