Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top disease expert, said in a webinar on Wednesday that he does not believe the world will ever be able to completely eradicate the coronavirus, but if we’re lucky someday we might get control of the disease.
“I think with a combination of good public health measures, a degree of global herd immunity and a good vaccine, which I do hope and feel cautiously optimistic that we will get. I think when you put all three of those together, I think we will get very good control of this.”
Fauci’s comment appears to raise new questions about how the economy will ever reach its pre-pandemic capacity and if 40 million out-of-work Americans is simply the new normal. Teachers unions, for example, have essentially said that they do not want to reopen schools until neither the student nor teacher is at any risk of infection. Fauci’s comment raises new concerns that the country will remain in a constant state of lockdown.
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This is not the first time that Fauci cast doubt on the world ever returning to the old way of life. Back in April, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a press conference that the world may never get back to normal.
“When we get back to normal, we will go back to the point where we can function as a society,” he said. He went on, “If you want to get back to pre-coronavirus, that might not ever happen in the sense that the threat is there.”
It has been widely documented that scientists are still learning about the virus’ transmission and the many ways it can damage a host’s body. One of the disease’s most challenging attributes is that some carriers have no clue they’re even infected while others who come down with it are put on ventilators within days.
“It is important to put this on the table: this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away,” Dr. Mike Ryan, the World Health Organization’s emergencies director, said back in May. “HIV has not gone away—but we have come to terms with the virus.”