Disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci tells 60 Minutes: ‘We haven’t seen the worst of it yet’ on coronavirus spread

CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jonathan LaPook and Dr. Fauci
CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jonathan LaPook and Dr. Fauci discussed the coronavirus last night on 60 Minutes. Pic credit: CBS.

Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on last night’s 60 Minutes on CBS, and during his interview, he offered some encouraging news but also cautioned we have not “seen the worst of it yet” here in the United States.

Fauci is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who is called upon by POTUS and government officials to determine a course of action to prevent widespread outbreaks in the USA.

He is a leading expert on infectious diseases.

His take during his interview last night on CBS’s 60 Minutes was one of calm and realistic estimation of events as the virus mutates and spreads, becoming less severe here than in the ground zero of China, where bats spread the infection in wet food markets.

Coronavirus in the USA

Three months ago, most Americans had never heard of a coronavirus, or its more clinical name, COVID-19.

What began as an outbreak in China has become a worldwide epidemic, with more than 100,000 cases in more than 90 countries.

Dr. Fauci discussed the “community spread” effect happening in nursing homes in King County in Washington state. A nursing home resident contracted the disease, and as of now, 16 deaths have been linked to this one nursing home.

“Is there any reason to think it’s not going to spread widely throughout the entire United States?” CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jonathan LaPook asked Dr. Fauci.

Dr. Fauci replied: “It depends on the ability to do the kinds of public health measures that could have an impact on the degree to which it spreads. The decision to do the travel restriction from China, retrospectively now, was a very wise decision, no doubt, because we would’ve had many, many more cases coming in, particularly from Wuhan, which would’ve seeded the country.”

There is no vaccine or specific drug to treat it

Fear and panic are our worst enemies, according to Dr. Fauci. Here in the United States, the panic buying of toilet paper and sanitizers and panic selling of stocks is not helping people feel any more secure.

In the entertainment world, events such as the Upfronts that happen every spring in New York City are being altered. It was just announced A+ E has eliminated a live upfront and will conduct a “teleconference” style for their advertisers instead.

The live presentation the network scheduled March 25 as part of the industry’s annual upfront ad-sales market is likely the first of all the network changes to the boisterous annual event that turns New York City into a celebrity and corporate confab as ad deals are hammered out.

Variety said:

“A+E, a joint venture of Walt Disney and Hearst Corp., said it would instead schedule “virtual” presentations to media-buying agencies and clients over the course of the week of March 23.”

Last night, LaPook talked about the shift in how people are working, even in the medical profession.

“I see telemedicine and information technology over there, infection control, incident command, and all these things up on bulletin boards and people behind computers,” said LaPook.

The human-to-human transmission is not fully understood other than the fact people can catch this virus by proximity to coughs or sneezes or by touching their face after touching a surface with the live virus.

In a bizarre turn, the CDC even recommended people watch The Walking Dead for tips on how to proceed during a pandemic.

Watch as Dr. Fauci explains the progression of the numbers and the best plan of action from last night’s 60 Minutes broadcast on CBS:

60 Minutes airs Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Check your local listings.

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