- Dr. Anthony Fauci says America “could be in for a bad fall” if coronavirus treatments don’t work.
- Several drugs and therapies are currently in clinical trials, with some of them showing promise against COVID-19. More research is required, however.
- Many vaccines are also in the works, but they will not be ready for mass inoculation until next year.
- Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.
The novel coronavirus has no treatment, but doctors around the world have been testing all sorts of drugs to kill the virus. It would be enough for just one to be effective against the virus to tide us over until a vaccine arrives. If a drug can stop the virus from replicating or reduce the immune response and the complications that arise from COVID-19, the disease would be much easier to manage, especially in severe cases.
However, the clinical trials aren’t done yet, and some have provided results that aren’t too reassuring. If researchers don’t find an effective treatment soon, the US “could be in for a bad fall,” according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease made those remarks during an interview with The Economic Club of Washington, DC, CNBC reports.
COVID-19 is “not going to disappear from the planet,” Fauci said, explaining that experts are currently studying outbreaks in South African countries, which are now entering their colder seasons.
“In my mind, it’s inevitable that we will have a return of the virus, or maybe even that it never went away,” Fauci said. The novel coronavirus threat isn’t expected to disappear during the summer.
Fauci echoes the remarks of CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield, who warned a few days ago that the second wave of the virus might be even worse than the first because winter will also bring the flu back into the picture.
“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” Redfield told The Washington Post. “And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean. We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time.”
Those remarks upset President Trump at the time, who called on Redfield to clarify his position during the daily White House coronavirus task force briefing last Wednesday. Redfield said he was accurately quoted in The Post, but added he did not use the word “worse.” “I said it was going to be more difficult and potentially complicated,” he added at the time. Redfield made no mention of coronavirus drugs.
Fauci, meanwhile, said that he is “cautiously optimistic” that researchers can develop a vaccine, but added that nothing is ever “a guarantee.”
There are promising developments both when it comes to drugs and vaccines, but there’s plenty more research to be done. Several vaccines were able to prevent COVID-19 in trials on monkeys, and doctors are still conducting trials on several drugs, including hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir. Some results on those two therapies came back negative, but hope is not entirely lost. On top of that, scientists are also exploring plasma therapies that have proven to be quite successful, as well as the use of stem cells against the new virus.
Fauci also warned that states should not reopen prematurely, and that it could result in “a rebound to get us right back in the same boat that we were in a few weeks ago.” He reminded people that the virus is “highly transmissible,” and that “everyone is at risk, unlike some infections.”