National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci testified at a Senate hearing on Tuesday and warned of “suffering and death” if the economy is reopen to soon. Fauci, who has not hesitated to offer straightforward advice on COVID-19 to President Donald Trump, publicly expressed his concern about the Trump administration’s push to reopen the economy.
Fauci said he is worried about states opening up too quickly without having “the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently,” adding little spikes might turn into outbreaks. Fauci went on to point out this will result in “needless suffering and death” and could hamper economic recovery after all. He warned of a second wave of COVID-19 by saying he is almost certain that the virus will come back in the fall.
Fauci was particularly skeptical about reopening schools soon. He said that the decision should be made very carefully when it comes to children who are not completely immune to the harmful effects of the COVID-19. Fauci added it is a “bridge too far” to consider that a vaccine and treatment could be produced in the fall when students come back to schools.
New York state, the worst-affected area in the U.S., is recently reporting cases of children contracting a rare disease possibly linked to COVID-19. According to The New York Times (NYT), about 57% of the 100 children who fell severely ill with inflammatory complications were aged between five and 14. Five children have died of the disease in New York alone, and similar cases have occurred in nearby New Jersey and Connecticut. New York Governor Cuomo said that it is a shocking situation, adding that he understands the parents’ concerns and urged them to pay close attention to the symptoms.
Meanwhile, Fauci said that remdesivir, which received an emergency approval by the Food and Drug Administration on May 1, showed modest benefits in trials but is not enough. Fauci added that there are eight vaccine candidates currently in human testing and the National Institutes of Health is working with many pharmaceutical companies.