“No, it’s not,” Fauci told ABC’s David Muir. “All you’ve got to do is look at the data, David. The virus is telling us what it can and will do if we don’t confront it properly.”
Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, added that public action can make a big difference in what happens next.
“We could get it to be under control if we do the things that we’re talking about,” he said, referring to social distancing, masks and other measures.
“I believe it’s achievable to get to a level that’s quite controlled so that we can open up the country and get the economy back,” he said.
Muir also noted that Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said last month that the coming flu season could converge with the coronavirus. Redfield warned it could lead to “probably one of the most difficult times that we’ve experienced in American public health.”
Fauci didn’t dispute that.
“I totally agree with Dr. Redfield,” he said. “That as we get into the winter and fall, with the likelihood that we’d have a convergence of two respiratory diseases, we could have a very difficult time.”
But, as with the coronavirus, Fauci said the public can turn it around.
“There are things that we can do that will get the level down,” he said.
Fauci also spoke about the coming school year, calling conditions around the nation a “mixed bag,” with some regions in a better position to return to in-class instruction than others.
And when kids do return to schools, he called for wearing masks, social distancing, constant hand-washing and regular use of hand sanitizer ― and called images of a crowded Georgia school hallway “disturbing.”
See his full conversation with Muir ― which also included the latest on vaccines ― below:
- Stay up to date with our live blog as we cover the COVID-19 pandemic
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- What you need to know about face masks right now
- How to tell if you need to start doing online therapy
- Lost your job due to coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know.
- Parenting during the coronavirus crisis?
- The HuffPost guide to working from home
- What coronavirus questions are on your mind right now? We want to help you find answers.
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How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
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