Fauci says virus may never be eradicated, contradicting Trump

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciNIH official 'to retire' after RedState criticism of Fauci surfaces The Hill's 12:30 Report: War over the Supreme Court North Carolina couple married 50 years dies minutes apart of coronavirus holding hands MORE, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said COVID-19 will likely never be eradicated, a statement that contradicts President TrumpDonald John TrumpBubba Wallace to be driver of Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin NASCAR team Graham: GOP will confirm Trump's Supreme Court nominee before the election Southwest Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid MORE’s claims that the coronavirus will “go away.”

“I don't think we’re going to eradicate this from the planet ... because it's such a highly transmissible virus that that seems unlikely,” Fauci said in an interview with Reuters. “But what I think we can do with a combination of a good vaccine and attention to public health measures — and by attention I don't mean shut down, I mean things that are just prudent — then I think we can get behind this."

Fauci, however, said he believes the nation can move past the peak levels of coronavirus cases.

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"We may need to go through a season of it, and then by the next season if we have a vaccine it won’t be a pandemic, it won’t be immobilizing the world, it won’t be destroying the economy," he said.

Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, said he will not make a “declarative statement” about when the virus will subside.

“I don't know. I hope and feel it's possible that by the time we get through 2021 and go around for another cycle that we'll have this under control,” he added.

Trump, however, has repeatedly insisted that the virus will “just disappear” at some point whether or not an effective vaccine is distributed. 

On Wednesday, Trump reiterated his claim that “this thing is going away,” while advocating for schools to physically reopen in the fall.

“It will go away like things go away and my view is that schools should be open,” he said, referring to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Cases across the U.S. have gradually begun falling over the past two weeks after states like Florida, Texas and Arizona experienced heavy outbreaks over the summer.

However, there is still a dangerously high plateau that signifies the country is still struggling to get the pandemic under control. 

More than 52,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the U.S. on Wednesday, according to a database from Johns Hopkins University.

It's the second day in a row that the United States has recorded over 50,000 new cases.

Since the start of the pandemic, the country has seen more than 4.8 million confirmed cases and 158,300 deaths.