President Trump’s epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fasi called the coronavirus his “worst nightmare” on Tuesday and warned that the fight against its spread is far from over.
Fasi, the director of National Allergy and Infectious Diseases, comes as the United States is slowly reopening from a lockdown while the cities are battling mass protests over the killing of George Floyd.
“Over the course of four months, it has devastated the entire world,” Fasi said in a virtual appearance at a conference held by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. “It’s not over yet.”
Fucci added that there is still a world of uncertainty around the virus and how it affects the body. COVID-19 is the most complex, HIV-infected virus he has ever spent his life studying, because of the varying severity of infections – from asymptomatic carriers to patients who develop dangerous conditions.
“Oh my goodness,” Fucci added. “Where can it be? We are still at the beginning of understanding. “
Fucci said vaccines were the only way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, although he believed a drug was in the works.
“He expects more than one winner in the vaccine industry because we need vaccines for the whole world – billions and billions,” he said.
“I’m very sorry that this industry has stepped up to the plate – it’s very different than what we’ve seen with SARS,” said Fucci. “The industry is not stupid – they invented it. SARS had a spread and it burned itself with clean public health measures. There was no way it would go with this virus.”
COVID-19 shines a “bright light” on America’s health disparities, Fasi added. As the United States exits its public health crisis, resources should be focused on the most vulnerable communities, namely African Americans, due to a variety of factors – including socioeconomic and employment – from the “double whammy” virus.
“[African Americans] There are a large number of jobs that do not allow you to sit in front of the computer and deliver. They’re out. They do a lot of things where you need to get in touch, ”Fucci said.
The country’s top coronavirus expert also warned against trying to enforce price controls on vaccine manufacturers.
“You can’t force a price,” he said, as if you want to find a fair price, and companies will simply shy away from facing the price control of vaccines.
“This is a for-profit industry,” Fasi added, adding that companies “cannot properly deliver this to those groups, countries and countries in good faith.”