Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, is advising Americans not to get complacent as the country continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking during a virtual panel with doctors from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Fauci said that even though the number of cases has been declining for the past few weeks, the virus is still a threat that needs to be taken seriously.
"We've been through this before," he said. "Don't ever, ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic. And don't try and look at the rosy side of things."
Dr. Fauci said that Americans "need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it's not going to be easy."
The U.S. is currently reporting about 36,000 new cases each day, a number that Fauci wants to see drop even further.
"I keep looking at that curve, and I get more depressed and more depressed about the fact that we never really get down to the baseline that I'd like," he said.
He also expressed concern that parts of the country will see new outbreaks in the coming weeks as a result of Labor Day celebrations. He pointed out that states that lifted restrictions too soon have seen a resurgence of the COVID-19 cases, and is worried that the current downward trend of new cases will cause politicians to make similar mistakes.
Dr. Fauci said that we have to learn from our previous mistakes and be ready to adapt to the challenges caused by the pandemic as we learn more about the virus.
"We've really got to realize that from Day One, you don't know it all," he said. "And you've got to be flexible enough to change your recommendations, your guidelines, your policies, depending upon the information."
Photo: Getty Images