There is no denying the fact “this is a pandemic of historic proportion,” Dr Anthony Fauci told students at Jesuit-run Georgetown University in a recent online webinar focused on young people’s risks and responsibilities in mitigating the spread of Covid-19.
“I think we cannot deny that fact. It is something that when we look back in history, it will be comparable to what we saw in 1918,” he said, referring to the deadly influenza epidemic that lasted from February 1918 to April 1920 and infected 500 million people around the world.
Fauci is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, established on 29th January.
After the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic on 11th March, a national emergency was declared in the United States, leading to a shutdown of all but what government officials declared to be essential services, like grocery stores and Home Depot and other big-box stores. Public celebration of Mass in Catholic churches and services in other houses of worship were among numerous events that had to be cancelled for months.
In recent weeks a majority of states have gradually opened up, but the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 are now spiking around the country.
Fauci said the increases in cases might have a correlation with the reopening of states and the younger culture.
The challenge the country is facing right now is the resurgence of infections in the South and Southwestern parts of the country, Fauci said, adding: “We are seeing record numbers of cases mostly among young individuals, which strongly suggests a link (with) attempting to reopen.”
Picture: People are seen at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on 11th July 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic. (CNS photo/Octavio Jones, Reuters).