Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, warned Wednesday that the coronavirus outbreak is “ten times” deadlier than the common flu, and urged for the country “to stay ahead of the game” while speaking with lawmakers.
Speaking to the House Oversight Committee, Fauci painted a drastic picture of the virus compared to President Trump, who tweeted Monday to compare the flu to the coronavirus.
“We will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now,” Fauci stated Wednesday. On Tuesday, the Pentagon’s surgeon, Air Force Brigadier General Paul Friedrichs said “the president is right” in asserting the flu is more dangerous than coronavirus.
.@RepMaloney: "Is the worst yet to come?"
Dr. Anthony Fauci: "Yes, it is…We will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now…Bottom line: it's going to get worse."
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 11, 2020
The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases added that he recommended “that there not be large crowds” to limit the spread of the virus” — suggesting that the country should ban public events for the time being.
“If that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it. But as a public health official, anything that has large crowds is something that would give a risk to spread,” he explained. “ . . . We have to change our behavior. We have to basically assume that we’re going to get hit.”
The U.S. reached 1,000 coronavirus cases nationwide Wednesday, after both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders canceled planned campaign rallies in Cleveland on Tuesday amid the worsening outbreak, while the White House has been largely noncommittal on canceling rallies.
Both the NBA and the NCAA, whose annual March Madness tournament begins in several weeks, have yet to confirm whether crowds will be banned from games.