NPR – Health experts warned that the coronavirus pandemic would get worse before it got better. And that is happening.
December was the deadliest month of the pandemic in the United States. The vaccines have made people optimistic, but the process has been slow.
Dr. Anthony Fauci — head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, who will be President-elect Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser — said Thursday that the initial rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has been slow because it came during the holiday period.
He said in an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition:
“I think it would be fair to just observe what happens in the next couple of weeks. If we don’t catch up on what the original goal was, then we really need to make some changes about what we’re doing.”
Fauci also said that a more contagious variant of the virus first identified in the United Kingdom and now spreading in the U.S. underscores the need to follow public health measures such as wearing a mask and social distancing.
And he said that while the U.K. has implemented a lockdown, he doesn’t see “any enthusiasm” for similar nationwide measures in this country.
Below are highlights of the interview.
We talked less than a month ago. The U.S. at that point had just reached 300,000 deaths. We are now at more than 360,000 Americans dead. Should we expect this trend to continue?
I believe, unfortunately, that it will. As we get into the next couple of weeks in January, that likely will be a reflection of the holiday season travel and the congregate settings that usually take place socially during that period of time.
We’ve seen following most events that require travel and … have people, you know, understandably getting together in a social setting.
So we believe things will get worse as we get into January.
Hopefully, if we really accelerate our public health measures during that period of time, we’ll be able to blunt that acceleration …
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