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

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: US coronavirus deaths hit 200,000 | Ginsburg's death puts future of ObamaCare at risk | Federal panel delays vote on initial COVID-19 vaccine distribution White House seeks to change subject from 200K COVID-19 deaths Putin calls on UN to strengthen World Health Organization 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 IngrahamEx-Pence aide: Trump spent 45 minutes of task force meeting 'going off on Tucker Carlson' instead of talking coronavirus Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs to be deposed in Seth Rich lawsuit: report NYC living statue shows Trump desecrating graves of war dead, COVID-19 victims 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.”

ADVERTISEMENT

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.