Fauci: Diseases like coronavirus 'don't just disappear'

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: CDC director calls on Michigan to 'close things down' amid surge in cases | Regeneron says antibody therapy prevents COVID-19 infections Fauci says some 'breakthrough' infections after vaccinations 'inevitable' Rand Paul calls Fauci a 'petty tyrant' MORE, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said Thursday evening that diseases like the novel coronavirus “don’t just disappear.”

Fauci was asked during an interview with Fox News host Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamTucker Carlson debuts his first major streaming show on Fox Nation Trump says Capitol rioters posed 'zero threat' Trump says press asked Biden 'softball' questions MORE if COVID-19 could "disappear" like SARS did in 2004. 

“Anything could, Laura, but I must say that the degree of efficiency of transmissibility of this is really unprecedented in anything that I’ve seen. It’s an extraordinarily efficient virus in transmitting from one person to another,” Fauci said. “These kinds of viruses don’t just disappear.”


Earlier in the interview, Ingraham asked why the U.S. is “pegging on going back to normal with a vaccine,” when that wasn’t the case for SARS or HIV/AIDS.

Fauci said it’s inefficient to compare the current pandemic to HIV/AIDS or SARS because the diseases behave differently, calling the rate of transmission in COVID-19 “unprecedented.”

“This is different,” Fauci said. “So I think it’s a little misleading maybe to compare what we’re going through now with HIV or SARS. They’re really different.”

Fauci has previously come under criticism for exercising caution when discussing the public health risks of reopening the economy fully. The doctor has said that there needs to be a vigorous increase in testing in the United States before the country can think about a phased approach to reopening, and a vaccine needs to be created. 

On Saturday, Republican Reps. Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Ken Buck (Colo.) criticized Fauci, saying his excess of caution and recommendations to the president could do serious damage to the U.S. economy now and in the future.

“For Fauci, is it merely a societal or economic inconvenience that about 17 million workers are unemployed because of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, with many more to come in the weeks and months ahead? The economic calamity lies largely with the origination of policies resulting from Fauci's recommendations,” the lawmakers wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Examiner published Saturday.