“Are you saying, doctor, despite the deaths that we may see, that mitigation is working, and that you do have this outbreak under control?” CBS’ Margaret Brennan asked Fauci.
“I will not say we have it under control, Margaret. That would be a false statement. We are struggling to get it under control, and that’s the issue that’s at hand right now,” Fauci replied.
He continued: “The thing that’s important is that what you see is increases in new cases, which then start to flatten out. But the end result of that you don’t see for days or weeks down the pipe.”
Fauci said that it was crucial for the coronavirus to get “globally under control,” or it could become a seasonal issue. He also said that efforts to obtain a vaccine and the beginning of clinical trials will hopefully mean the US is more prepared if there is a resurgence of the virus.
“The next two weeks are extraordinarily important,” said Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said at a Saturday briefing from the task force. “This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe, and that means everybody doing the six feet distancing, washing your hands.”
“It’s a very contagious virus. It’s incredible. But it’s something we have tremendous control of,” he said during the briefing. At the time, the number of US cases had just passed 3,000.
Fauci also indicated at the time that the virus wasn’t under control, saying at the same March briefing that “the worst is yet ahead for us.”
This story has been updated with additional background information and context.