US infectious disease expert admits coronavirus may never be eradicated

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United States infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, Wednesday (13/10), acknowledged that the coronavirus may never be contained and that “most of the world” remains in the pandemic phase of the outbreak.

Fauci, adviser to US President Joe Biden and Director of Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health and Infectious Diseases, made the assessment during a White House briefing on the pandemic.

“It will be very difficult, at least in the future and perhaps forever, to completely eradicate this highly contagious virus,” he said.

To put the battle against the coronavirus in perspective, Fauci said, “There is only one human disease that has been eradicated and that is smallpox.”

He said most of the world was in some respects still in the pandemic phase “but was “now witnessing a slowdown in the acceleration” of new cases.

Fauci said health care experts were looking for a level of virus control that would allow us to essentially approach the normal situation we all crave.

Fauci stressed that an adequate level of control could be achieved through vaccination which would eventually bring down new daily cases to “less than 10,000.”

Health workers prepare a COVID-19 vaccine at the Acres Home Multi-Service Center in Houston, USA. (Photo: Reuters)

He noted the US still has “approximately 66 million people who qualify for vaccination who are still unvaccinated.”

“We are facing a situation where we have a very contagious virus and with the dynamics of the virus reaching 80 to 90,000 cases per day. That’s not what we want,” he said.

The US continues to lead the world with 717,000-plus coronavirus deaths, and in new infections, with nearly 44.6 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. [my/jm]

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