Dr. Anthony Fauci calls the coronavirus pandemic an ongoing "nightmare," but President Donald Trump has vowed no shutdowns in a second wave, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar agreed on Newsmax TV.
"I don't anticipate that we would be seeing shutdowns again, as the president said," Azar told Newsmax TV's Emerald Robinson in an exclusive interview Wednesday on "The Chris Salcedo Show."
Instead, the U.S. is far more prepared to activate "community mitigation efforts" if a second wave comes in the fall, which Fauci has considered "inevitable."
"I think you would see things that are much more localized and focused on the conditions in a very particular area rather than nationwide solutions," Azar said.
Fauci called the COVID-19 outbreak his "worst nightmare," fearing even the U.S. is still only getting started in dealing with the pandemic.
"In a period — if you just think about it — in a period of four months, it has devastated the world," he said this week. "That's millions and millions of infections worldwide. And it isn't over yet. And it's condensed in a very, very small time frame."
Fauci had originally believed, in January, COVID-19 might have a very small impact in the U.S., like Ebola or SARS. He has also wavered on whether a second wave will be impactful, or come at all, in recent weeks.
That shows how difficult tracking this pandemic is, Azar concluded.
"I think it's dangerous to make firm predictions about a virus, especially one like this, where we're still learning about this virus, and its characteristics, and its traits," Azar told Robinson. "What we can do is prepare."
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