Dr. Anthony Fauci at Wednesday's White House coronavirus task force briefing:
QUESTION: Dr. Fauci, could you talk a little bit about your expectations for the fall? We heard from Dr. Redfield and Dr. Birx. What do you see for the fall? Is it going to be embers or possibly no return of the virus at all?
DR. FAUCI: You know, as I've said before here, when you look at an outbreak, it's two dynamic forces opposing each other. If you believe the virus to its own devices, it will take off if you do nothing to stop it. If you put into place the kinds of things that we talk about, first containment and then, hopefully, you never get to mitigation, but containment is important, those two forces are going to determine whether you're going to have a big outbreak.
So what Dr. Redfield was saying, first of all, is that we will have coronavirus in the fall. I am convinced of that because of the degree of--of transmissibility that it has, the global nature. What happens with that will depend on how we are able to contain it when it occurs.
And what we are saying is that in the fall we will be much, much better prepared to do the kind of containment compared to what happened to us this winter.
Now the complicating issue is that unlike the syndrome act and influenza -like observances that we have that you could pick it up by clinically what is happening it is going to get complicated by an influenza season and I believe that is what Dr. Redfield was saying that is going to be complicated. So whether or not it's going to be big or small is going to depend on our response and that is what I think people sometimes have misunderstanding. Nobody can predict what is going to happen with an outbreak but you can predict how you are going to respond to it and that is really very important.
QUESTION: So you would caution against people thinking that in the fall there's not going to be coronavirus anymore and we won't have to worry about it or if it is it will be spotty and it won't be a--a big problem they have to worry about?
FAUCI: There will be coronavirus in the fall. If we do which we won't but let's take an imaginary. And we say okay, coronavirus forget about it we are not going to do anything about it. It will take off. That is what viruses do but that is not what is going to happen. We are going to respond to it to not allow it to do that.
QUESTION: Dr. Fauci, what happens when governors like Governor Kim are not following this careful measured plan and moving forward even without meeting the gating criteria? What do you do about that?
FAUCI: Well, you know if I were advising the governor I would tell him that he should be careful and I would advise him not to just turn the switch on and go because there is a danger of a rebound and I know there's a desire to move ahead quickly. That is a natural human-nature desire. But going ahead and leapfrogging into phases where you should not be I would advise him as a health official and as a physician not to do that.