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Fauci: 'We're in a very difficult situation at all levels' but 'help is on the way'

Fauci: 'We're in a very difficult situation at all levels' but 'help is on the way'
© getty: Anthony Fauci

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge US COVID-19 cases reach past 13 million Fauci: Pandemic likely won't improve by Christmas, New Year's MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, warned that the U.S. was in a “very, very difficult situation at all levels” with regard to the coronavirus pandemic, but said “we should not look upon this as a hopeless situation.”

“We’re in a very, very difficult situation at all levels,” Fauci said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” citing increasing infections throughout most of the country. He added that in terms of public health measures to stem the spread, “we’re  not talking about shutting down the country and locking down completely but we do know mitigation measures work” such as wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand-washing.

Fauci, pointing to the development of two separate vaccine candidates, urged Americans not to lose hope even as they continued to take precautions.

“You don’t want people to get terrified but you want them to understand that we can do something about that by mitigation methods and also help is on the way, so we should not look upon this as a hopeless situation,” he said.

“When you get COVID fatigue, which is entirely understandable, that people just throw up their hands and say heck, we’re not going to be able to do anything about it, let’s just do what we want to do, that’s the wrong decision, because vaccines are coming and they’re going to be available relatively soon if we can hang in there with the mitigation methods,” Fauci added.

Fauci cautioned that for a vaccine to achieve herd immunity depended on a combination of the vaccine’s efficacy and how many people take it.

“If you have a highly efficacious vaccine and only a relatively small 40 to 50 percent of the population get vaccinated, you’re not going to get the herd immunity you need,” he added.