Dr. Anthony Fauci on China and COVID-19 Spike from Protests | Shelter in Place Episode 14

published on July 2, 2020


tonight dr Anthony foul she says the

next few weeks are critical to tamp down

what he calls a disturbing coronavirus

surge it is extremely exciting for us to

get back Elfman again we've got 10

states that have seen a record number of

new kovat cases this week you see

parties people gathering on the beach

which i think is a little reckless in my

cousin slight spike in cases but I don't

think it's any more dangerous than being

outside is what you say that the

situation right now in Phoenix and in

Arizona is dire yes it is people are

scared you know we need to get back to

work we don't seem to have like a real

plan over the course of this season we

spoken to policymakers economists civil

rights leaders and heads of state

coronavirus is just blown open systemic

inequality that has been long simmering

in the United States we've heard from

experts across the us Europe and Latin

America as well as figures from the CDC

and whu-oh now we wanted answers to key

questions about the corona virus

pandemic and the new world in which we

find ourselves today on the season

finale we're speaking to perhaps the

most qualified person on earth tans for

the biggest questions about the crisis

thank you very much dr Birds mr

president mr vice president dr Anthony

Fauci is the nation's top infectious

disease expert and he's become a

household name standing as a rare voice

of reason during the worst pandemic for

a century we're gonna continue to see

things go up

we cannot be discouraged by that because

the mitigation is actually working and

will work now to quote Winston Churchill

we wanted to ask him is this the end is

this the beginning of the end or if

indeed this is the end of the beginning

dr pouchy thank you for your time today

now I know you're insanely busy so I

want to start with the problem writ

large in the beginning we were seeing

numbers coming from China and Southeast


in the tens of thousands for kovat 19

infections and then I first looked at

our estimates here in America and they

were in the millions for the US alone we

could get in the range of a hundred

thousand to two hundred thousand

fatalities why is it that it's seemingly

China and Southeast Asia could flatten

their curves and while it was coming

towards us and while we could see it

we're like well we can't do that so it's

gonna be in the millions how did that

how do we become the epicenter of this

pandemic you know it didn't actually

happen that way well we said we didn't

see it therefore you know throw your

hands up that's actually not the way it

happened first of all I think you got to

take a country-by-country with all due

respect to so many of my Chinese

scientific colleagues and who we have a

great deal of respect for the

transparency about numbers in China I

think you have to be careful if you

extrapolate numbers and say they only

have X number of cases an X number of

deaths so they're under reporting yeah I

I actually have some reservations about

that but since I have no proof that

there's any difference there you have to

look at what China did in the beginning

that we never would be able to do in a

democratic place where people have a

free spirit namely essentially just

completely locked down a country I mean

in a way that was very imposing on human

rights we'd never be able to do that in

this country the Chinese government has

imposed the most extensive lockdown the

world has ever seen when you talk about

other countries some of the smaller

Southeast Asian countries you know the

Taiwan's Singapore Korea which had a

very very localized group of infections

that were easily able to be contained

I'm not saying that we did everything


but I think when you say oh they had

thousands we have millions we don't know

what they're doing I think you should

compare us more to Europe so we're just

inside Papua Java

Hospital which is the biggest hospital

in Bergamo at the epicenter of this

crisis Italy is a very competent country

they have good physicians they have very

good scientist they got hit really badly

the equivalent of even from Anna on a

head-to-head basis sometimes even worse

than we did we got hit very badly

because what happened is that we were

getting inflows of cases from Europe at

a time when Europe itself wasn't

necessarily recognizing that they were

gonna be as bad as they were

particularly northern Italy so you had

at one time a substantial proportion of

our cases were coming from the New York

metropolitan area it was one period a

couple of months ago there almost half

or more of the cases in the United

States were in the New York City

metropolitan area they got hit hard

unexpectedly does that mean they did

anything wrong I don't I don't think so

I think it was just the circumstances of

how an outbreak enters the country and

how you respond to it so I don't think

you can say we knew what was going on

there and we let it happen here you've

got to remember that at the beginning of

the outbreak there were claims every day

that this was a very inefficiently

spread virus in fact it was almost

exclusively from animals to humans the

CDC says the mysterious corona virus has

sickened dozens of people in Asia with

four new cases in China now

retrospectively it was clear that it was

very efficiently spread then you look at

what happened here

we started putting travel restrictions

on really essentially before there was

even a case in the United States

then we repatriated people from Wuhan

and then we had the first what we call

travel related case in the United States

and then we cut off travel from China

and by that time it was clear that we

were having community spread so although

it is always

easy to say we could have done and I

admit we always could have done things

better I think it is a little

inappropriate and unfair to say look

they have thousands we had millions of

cases it's very different from country

to country everyone seems to be doing

their best to kind of keep just it's

actually important right now that we try

to gradually open up the economy the

question is is how we do it so recently

the New York Times I believe yesterday

wrote a story entitled coronavirus isn't

over but New Yorkers are acting as if it

were many anecdotes about people

partying shopping going to bars partying

in the streets not social distancing and

this is from the epicenter of the

disease in this country what do you

think is happening here I'm glad you

brought that up because that's a very

good point and this is a very complex

situation so let's take the New York

situation New York got hit very badly so

we have 10 times the problem that

California is dealing with 2739

deaths in the state of New York

they went into extensive mitigation they

shut things down they had the curves go

way down in a very steep curve and they

got down to a low level where they were

able to appropriately use the guidelines

that are checkpoints to guide you in to

gradually opening up there's the gateway

where you have to have a certain

diminution over time if you pass that

you go to phase one you do that for 14

days if that looks good you go to phase

2 so their credit Governor Cuomo and

mayor de Blasio abided by the guidelines

and then all of a sudden you see in the

media the picture down in the East

Village of people reveling drinking no

masks congregating it's the free spirit

of people in the United States who

understandably felt so cool

for so long jobs were lost the economy

went down so there was almost an

all-or-none revolution saying either

we've gone from shutdown to all bets are

off and you note the governor said if

that doesn't stop we're gonna bounce

back to the Gateway and go backwards

that's the worst possible thing we can

do there are people that are saying why

the big deal why are we shutting down

why are we doing these restrictions it

doesn't bother me I'm healthy I'm gonna

be fine

twenty to forty five percent of the

people get no symptoms at all some get

mild symptoms some are in bed for weeks

some require hospitalization of those

some require oxygen some require

intensive care and some die so where

have you ever seen that degree of

disparity with the same infection

what isn't understood is that we're all

part of the process of trying to contain

a pandemic that is killing the

vulnerable people the elderly those with

underlying conditions that is a very

difficult communication message to get

across to the American people the whole

public communication has been Bumble and

Bumble from the very start I think they

really dropped the ball just because

especially in February they were kind of

saying it wasn't real and it wasn't

really gonna be that serious the notion

to tell people what to do but not to

follow it like do as I say but not as I

do all the rules are different in all

these different places and I have my own

business and I don't even know what's

like allowed and not allowed and things

like that I don't know if they're lying

again I don't want to be this

first and that runs – he's talking

people that I think are not students at



but y'all wear masks bro I'm all for it

swim as a sign that you care for others

is how I think about it I never go out

without the mask I mean according to

doctors he's wearing the mask he's an x

in my video I took all the precautions

that you're gonna give us some white so

you don't I mean like it's been

surprising how many people don't and you

hear people saying that you know this is

fake and you're not supposed to do that

and it's just this clouded message so I

think that you know it seems like people

think that the coronavirus threat is

over because they want it to be over

which goes in the face of scientific

fact so what message would you tell

those people who are flouting you know

science and and and medical fact what I

would tell them is what I'm telling you

and that's the reason why my voice

sounds like it's disappearing because

I've been on so many media podcast

interviews speeches trying to get that

word across and you hear a lot of things

about well what are we gonna do about

the second wave for goodness sakes we're

still in the first wave you look at the

numbers we're starting to see a

disturbing increase in the spread among

those states that early on didn't have a

big burden and shut down and did not

have a lot of disease and now as they're

starting to open up if they don't do it


they're gonna be very vulnerable to

having the kinds of surges that we saw

early on in the outbreak right now

arizona's hospital beds are at breaking

point the arizona state health director

recently said we are not going to be

able to stop the spread and so we can't

stop living as well that's a quote is

this fatalism

is this true yeah you know fatally

there's no time for fatalism right now

quite frankly and again it's the

Communications of understanding that the

dynamics of an outbreak particularly

when you have such a heterogeneity of

responses of severity from nothing to

death ultimately and I hope it's much

sooner rather than later the scientific

achievements of interventions in the

form of vaccines and therapeutics that

can mitigate some of the suffering and

the morbidity that's when we'll really

get our arms around this but right now

the only thing we really have is the

adherence to the public health

recommendations if you're worried about

getting like we're outside and we're not

wearing the mask I am NOT fearful of it

I do not feel fearful of gatherings I

don't worry about it

I don't let it get to me like Florida

opened early they refused guidelines and

last week they hit a record high of new

cases and rising what do you say to the

states that seemingly are ignoring the

science and the medical fact well all

you do is to tell them please look at

the facts you've ignored or not

necessarily completely ignored but you

didn't pay as strict attention to the

guidelines the guideposts the kinds of

things that we call the checkpoints

before you go to the next step of

opening and this is a predictable result

it's an unfortunate result it's not too

late to contain it and what does happen

in one part of the country ultimately

not immediately but ultimately it will

have an impact either positively or

negatively so I try to keep in as

understandable terms as possible why we

have a responsibility to do that on May

12th you said quote my concern is that

you will start to see little spikes that

will turn into outbreaks end quote are

we seeing that now I think we are in the

states that you mentioned we're seeing

situations where some states

literally within the past couple of

weeks have surpassed anything that had

previously we're seeing some states that

are even having trouble keeping up with

the hospitalizations so you can't hide

from it it's there so your boss at the

White House vice president pence said in

an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal

which was titled there isn't a corona

virus second wave in quote he said and

I'll quote him the truth is whatever the

media says our whole of America approach

has been a success end quote

actually there's been a rise in 20

states all of which opened earlier what

is the truth a and B has this issue

become highly politicized well I mean

obviously we have such political

divisive miss in the country that's

unprecedented it makes the response to

something as serious as a public health

pandemic all the more difficult

nonetheless we need to continue to go by

the facts and we need to recognize it

when we see it so we need to do

something about what's going on in those

states we absolutely do and their way to

do that is right now to try and contain

as best as possible get the resources

there that are capable of doing the

identification isolation and contact

tracing that's what needs to be done

right now and and hopefully as a lesson

that when you have communicable diseases

with no ability to intervene other than

physical separation as stressful as that

can be that's the way you contain it

until you can gradually imprudently open

up and I must mention when you do it

carefully you will see cases there's no

doubt because whenever you pull back on

mitigation you'll see cases if you

handle the occurrence of those cases in

an effective way the manpower the system

the test to do identification isolation

and contact tracing you could be able to

prevent these little breakthroughs as

they go from becoming a serious surge in


Donald Trump said that he thought that

the testing was it show when you do

testing to that extent you're gonna find

more people you're gonna find more cases

so I said that my people slowed the

testing down please I mean I'm a

supporter but I think that was a stupid

statement to make

maybe the government like wants us to

think that not to go out and stay inside

to stop the protest but I mean I'm gonna

keep going out and so I don't care you

know just feel like we want to come out

here as much as we can to show support

dr pouchy telling us to stay indoors I

felt like we've been indoors long enough

and as long as we're out and we're being

safe and conscious and protecting

ourselves my belief is that we should be

saying anything so there's been a lot of

protests over the country the last three

weeks to a month a lot of

epidemiologists are worried about those

protests causing spikes if not outbreaks

for example President Trump is having a

rally in Oklahoma which you said as an

at-risk person I'm not going to go to

our is having political rallies and

protests exacerbating this problem yeah

when you have a situation where there

are viral dynamics and infections going

on in the community and you congregate

in crowds you are increasing the risk of

being infected and of transmitting

infection this is particularly true if

you don't wear a mask now we know that

things like people demonstrating for

things that they feel strongly about for

issues of social injustice which are

very valid whatever you're congregating

for and you don't pay attention to

physical distancing you're increasing

the risk of infection

if that is the case which is not optimal

but if it is the case the least you can

do is to consistently wear a mask and

when dynamics of where you are

leads to a nada animation a lot of

chanting a lot of screaming please don't

tempt yourself to pull your mast down

leave your mask on because we know from

scientific studies that when you shout

or when you sing or when you do it you

have aerosols that go out best game

don't go to a crowded place second best

wear a mask if you do and you feel

compelled to do it I just don't think

this is over you're gonna see maybe a

little decrease in the summer but I

think it's gonna come back in the fall

with a vengeance to go back to the macro

you know the the last pandemic of this

size was the Spanish influenza 1918

sort of followed the same loose pattern

started here went down to the southern

hemisphere came back with a vengeance in

the autumn and I know you said look

we're in the middle of a first wave why

are we talking about a second wave but

the reason why everyone's asking about a

second wave if it comes back and we have

to shut down again what is the official

you know stance on that ya know you know

what I think is that the second wave

that people are talking about why do we

assume that it's gonna be worse than the

first wave you're talking historically

about what happened in 1918 this is in

many respects different from that as

I've always said hopefully we'll have

therapeutic interventions in the fall is

doubtful that we will have a vaccine

that we feel comfortable is safe and

effective in the fall we might have it

by the end of the year December or

January but what you can do is as I've

said if you handle the return of

infections as we get into the winter

months which might happen that you do it

in a way that effectively prevents it

from becoming a surge if you're prepared

to put the public health effort of truly

trying to contain it before you have to

mitigate there's a difference between

that for people to understand

containment means you can stop it from

exploding mitigate its exploded what are

you gonna do about it that's the point

if you can prevent the latter and keep

it at the former there's no

inevitability of having a worst wave in

the winter if we do something about it

dr parity thank you for your time today

good to be with you thank you for having




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