Mar 15, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci Coronavirus Interview Transcripts: NIH Immunologist Does Series of Sunday Interviews

Dr. Anthony Fauci Interview Transcripts
RevBlogTranscriptsInterview TranscriptsDr. Anthony Fauci Coronavirus Interview Transcripts: NIH Immunologist Does Series of Sunday Interviews

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of NIAID at the NIH did a series of Sunday March 15 interviews on COVID-19. Read the transcripts of his various news appearances on CNN, ABC News, Fox News, Face the Nation, and Meet the Press here.

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Dr. Fauci ABC News John Karl Interview Transcript

John Karl: (01:39)
Dr Fauci, thank you for being here.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (02:16)
Good to be with you.

John Karl: (02:17)
Now you have said that there are going to be more coronavirus cases and you’ve talked about flattening the curve. We’ve all seen the graph, right? Let’s take another look at the graph now trying to slow the spread of the disease, but one thing that that graph is missing is numbers. And I know you don’t have precise numbers, but can you try to help us understand when will life get back to normal? How long does this last?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (02:45)
It’s going to be a matter of several weeks to a few months for sure. If you look at the dynamics of how outbreak curves go, you just need to take a look at China and take a look at South Korea right now. With China, they went to their peak and they are coming down right now. There were just a day or so ago, 11 new cases in China, which is minuscule compared to where it was. Korea is starting to flatten and maybe come down a little. If you look at that bracket, all of that was a couple of months, a month and a half for China and about the same. Although you can’t predict accurately the way you interfere with that and not only diminish the peak of the curve, but even perhaps the duration depends on the effectiveness in which you do the kinds of controls that we’ve been talking about, the containment and the mitigation.

John Karl: (03:44)
So do we think that Korea, do we think China are through this largely? Is it largely over?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (03:51)
It’s over for now and hopefully for good. But the one thing that we have to keep an eye on, John, is that China really dramatically did what we call social distancing. They just shut down the country. As they start getting back to normal personal interaction, I hope we don’t see the second blip, but it’s possible. So we’re looking favorably at the fact that China is coming down, but we also want to look carefully to see what happens when they resume normal life. And that’s one of the things that we’re interested in. Hopefully it’ll stay down, but it possibly could come back up.

John Karl: (04:29)
That flattened curve suggests that by flattening the curve, by doing all the mitigation, it actually lasts longer. And it looks like roughly, I mean is it the same number of people ultimately get infected?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (04:40)
No, no, not at all as a matter of fact. I mean the way the curve is shown on the graph you showed, it might look like the area under the curve is the same. That would be misleading, John. It really is the peak is less and the numbers total would be less.

John Karl: (04:57)
So you are probably the most trusted person on this. Are you confident that the federal government is doing everything that needs to be done right now to contain this?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (05:08)
Right now, John, yes, absolutely. And the fact is, what I like to see is when people look at what we’re doing and say you’re overreacting. For me, the dynamics and the history of outbreaks is you are never where you think you are with the… if you think you’re in line with the outbreak, you’re already three weeks behind. So you got to be almost overreacting a bit to keep up with it.

John Karl: (05:33)
The New York Times had a story this weekend about the worst case scenarios and some projections that were, they said, presented at the CDC about a month ago. Let’s take a look at these. 160 million to 214 million people infected in the United States. 2.4 million to 21 million people hospitalized, 200,000 deaths, perhaps as much as 1.7 million deaths. First of all, what do you make of those?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (06:06)
So whenever people model, take a model, which that’s exactly what that is, a model. A model is only as good as the assumptions you put into the model. So when you do a model, you say, “What happens if it’s the lowest it’s here? And what happens is the highest?” The worst case scenario is either you do nothing or your mitigation and containments don’t succeed. So although that’s possible, it is unlikely if we do the kinds of things that we’re essentially outlining right now.

John Karl: (06:38)
So, help me out. What is the range of possibility or how many people do you think, based on what we’re doing, based on what you know and your expertise in this, what are we talking about?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (06:48)
I don’t think it’s going to be that worse because I think what we’re doing is going to have an effect. And for example, the president’s decision to essentially have a major blocking of travel from China. That already had an effect of not seeding the way in Europe, Italy didn’t do that. And I feel so badly because I have so many friends there. They’re getting hit hard. What we’re doing now with the other travel restrictions, so you block infections from coming in and then within is when you have containment and mitigation. And that’s the reason why the kinds of things we’re doing that may seem like an overreaction will keep us away from that worst case scenario.

John Karl: (07:30)
So are we prepared for whatever you think the worst case scenario would be? Is our health care system… but I mean I saw Seema Varma this week say that there are about 13,000 respirators in stockpile. 13,000, when we’re looking at-

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (07:44)
No, voscilators, ventilators.

John Karl: (07:45)
Ventilators. I’m sorry, ventilators. That doesn’t sound like anywhere near enough. Are we prepared?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (07:51)
Yeah, that that may not be enough if we have a situation where we really have a lot of cases. But John, let’s make sure people need to understand that things will get worse before they get better. What we’re trying to do is to make sure they don’t get to the worst case scenario. That’s what we need to do.

John Karl: (08:09)
And look at the way life is starting to stop here, but we see different localities doing different things. Some cities are banning gatherings over 250, some 500. What should be done? Should we be seeing restaurants shutdown like we’re seeing happening in Israel and Spain right now? Should we basically be in a shutdown mode?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (08:32)
What we should be doing is absolutely making it much, much different, not business as usual. You got to just chill down. Some areas of the country, particularly the areas where it’s clear you’re having a lot of community spread may be more vigorous in shutting things down. Right now people are taking things on their own. No matter how, you say 50 people is the limit and then people say, “No, no, we don’t want anybody. We’re just going to shut down things.”

John Karl: (08:59)
And the number doesn’t matter, does it? What matters is how densely packed people are.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (09:02)
Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. So what we’ve really got to do is we got to as much as possible, but, but we don’t want to lose sight of the fact that when you’re doing that interpersonal interaction that you’re trying to calm down and you, whatever word you want, chill, slow down.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (09:17)
We got be… make sure that the vulnerable ones are the ones that we protect, the vulnerable, the elderly and those with underlying conditions. Those are the people that if you say, “Should you kind of stay in your house, not go to a movie, not go to a restaurant?” For the most part, maybe most people shouldn’t do that, but the ones who really shouldn’t do that are the vulnerable ones.

John Karl: (09:38)
Or those living with the vulnerable ones.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (09:40)
Yeah, exactly.

John Karl: (09:41)
So what about travel restrictions? Are we going to see domestic travel restrictions? And we know we have hotspots, we have Washington state, we have parts of California, New York. Should there be travel restrictions?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (09:50)
When we sit around with the task force we talk about every possibility. Travel restrictions within the country have not been seriously discussed. I mean they’ve been discussed but not seriously discussed. I don’t see that right now in the immediate future. But remember we are very open minded about whatever it takes to preserve the health of the American public.

John Karl: (10:09)
So not a consideration now, but possible. One final question to you on this question of social distancing. Let’s take a look at the press conference in the Rose Garden on Friday. We saw the president’s been noted shaking hands with many of the executives. We also saw you. There you are touching the microphone and then touching your face. Just, okay, tell me.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:32)
There were two things there, John. I’m working on getting the boss to do this. I may not be successful, but we’re working on it. Sometimes there are things you have to do. If I didn’t put the microphone down, you would have seen a microphone in front of my face like that. So there’s some practical things you have to do.

John Karl: (10:48)
Well, what are you doing to protect yourself?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:51)
I’m practicing as much social distancing as I possibly can. I don’t go out. I just don’t go. I mean, I have a job that’s a 19 hour a day job. I have no interest in going to the movies, to restaurants or to getting on a plane.

John Karl: (11:06)
All right. Dr. Anthony Fauci. Thank you for being here. Thank you for the work you’re doing. We appreciate it.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (11:11)
Good to be with you.

George Stephanopoulos: (11:13)
Hi everyone. George Stephanopoulos here. Thanks for checking out the ABC news YouTube channel. If you’d like to get more videos, show highlights and watch live event coverage, click on the right over here to subscribe to our channel and don’t forget to download the ABC news app for breaking news alerts. Thanks for watching.

Dr. Fauci Fox News Chris Wallace Interview Transcript

Chris Wallace: (00:00)
And joining us now, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top official on infectious diseases. And doctor, welcome back to Fox News Sunday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (00:08)
Good to be with you, Chris.

Chris Wallace: (00:09)
I want to start with those videos that Kristen Fisher just showed of those thousands of people at airports overnight rushing to beat the travel ban, waiting on line for hours. You can see them here in close proximity. One assumes, coming back from Europe, some of them have the coronavirus. As an infectious disease doctor, are you troubled seeing this?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (00:32)
Yeah, I mean, we’d like to not see crowds like that. I mean, I think what people need to understand if you’re an American citizen, if you are a family member, that you can get back. You don’t need to rush back, you’ll be able to get back. But it’s understandable how when people see a travel ban, they immediately want to hunker and get home. Hopefully, we don’t have more of that, but I think we probably, unfortunately, will see that.

Chris Wallace: (00:56)
And is that a problem in terms of the spread of the disease?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (01:00)
Obviously, whenever you have crowds, I mean, that’s the thing we’ve been talking about and that we really want to implement, is to have that kind of social separation. That is countermanding that and hopefully that people will understand you don’t have to rush back.

Chris Wallace: (01:13)
To what degree is it on the airports to prevent that and not have those big crowds of people waiting for hours?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (01:18)
I don’t know, Chris, what the airports can do about that to try and encourage people to tell them that if you are an American citizen, you will be able to get back. It’s not going to be a problem.

Chris Wallace: (01:27)
You testified before Congress this week and you made, I think, what most people would consider some pretty chilling comments. Here they are.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (01:37)
Bottom line, it’s going to get worse. The flu has a mortality of 0.1%. This has a mortality of 10 times that.

Chris Wallace: (01:46)
What’s different about this virus? What’s different in how contagious it is and how lethal it is?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (01:52)
Well, I would say three things, Chris. One, it’s brand new, so we don’t have any prior experience about what it’s going to do, what its dynamics are going to be. Number two, it spreads very easily. There’s no doubt about that. It isn’t like some of the other outbreaks that we had that just didn’t adapt itself to spread among humans. And number three, it’s very serious in the sense of morbidity, mortality, particularly among and very heavily weighted towards, individuals who are more susceptible, the elderly and those with underlying conditions.

Chris Wallace: (02:24)
And in terms of contagiousness and lethality, worse than the flu?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (02:28)
Well, yes. I mean, it just is. And we’ve got to face that fact. We’ve got to be realistic. I mean, we’ve got to realize, and I said that at the hearing, that things are going to get worse before they get better, but the kinds of things we’re doing now will hopefully mitigate that.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (02:43)
You know, I showed that curve, that peak-

Chris Wallace: (02:47)
Yeah, we’re going to talk about that.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (02:47)
Okay, but that’s important because to think that right now everything is going to be okay if you don’t do anything, that’s absolutely incorrect. We’ve got to really always be ahead of the curve. I mean, I say now in a way that people can understand, I’d like to be the fact that we’re criticized for being over-reactive. Because when you’re dealing with a virus outbreak, you are always behind where you think you are. So therefore, you’ve got to jump ahead and stay ahead of the curve.

Chris Wallace: (03:17)
I wanted to ask you about this. On Friday, both you and the president at one point mentioned eight weeks. Now, you weren’t saying it’s all going to be over in eight weeks, but are you suggesting that if we do everything right, that we could be on the other side of the curve in eight weeks?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (03:34)
First of all, we have to say that people don’t misunderstand. We are not sure what the duration is going to be, number one. Number two, if you look at what happened in China, where they had that peak and then they are coming down, they were only 11 new cases in China. They dominated the new cases just a few months ago. So if it started off in China two or three months ago, they started coming down within a two-month period. So if you’re talking about reflecting what went on there, it’s going to be about that time that we hopefully, in the next couple of months, are going to see the direction it’s going to go.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (04:12)
Hopefully, what we’re doing in a very aggressive way of containment and mitigation, we’ll be able to not only flatten it in the sense of not as many cases but also, diminish the duration.

Chris Wallace: (04:23)
President Trump announced a public/private partnership on Friday and made it sound like the serious testing around the country, that we’ll be seeing it soon. First there was this.

President Trump: (04:39)
I want to thank Google. Google is helping to develop a website. It’s going to be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past-

Chris Wallace: (04:51)
But Google’s sister company, [inaudible 00:04:54] put out a statement later that said this test, which according to him and other officials, first of all, will let you check whether your symptoms indicate you have it. And two, if you do seem to have it, will tell you where you can get testing, in fact, is just starting and is just in a pilot program for the Bay Area and that is going to take over time, they said, for it to be applied nationally.

Chris Wallace: (05:20)
And while the president made it sound like mass testing is going to start very soon, there are a lot of experts who say that whether it’s staffing, public health staffing or the products or the chemicals needed for mass testing, that we’re way behind the curve on that. So I guess my question is, how soon can people across the country expect mass drive-thru testing?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (05:44)
Okay, so there are two issues here, Chris. There’s a website and when it’s going to be fully open versus the availability of testing. They really are somewhat separate. So put aside the website and how it’s going to fully operational, the CEOs of the companies that we had at the White House that the president met with, it’s very clear that when I specifically asked them, when can we get started to start doing this, where you can really have availability in a much easier way implementing, not just saying that it’s out there? They’re telling us that that will be starting up within the next week or so, that it’s going to go up.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (06:23)
Now in reality, they are going to be people a week from now who are going to say, I tried to get a test and I couldn’t get it. But the totality of the picture is going to be infinitely better than it was a few weeks ago.

Chris Wallace: (06:35)
I want to talk to you about a few weeks ago because there are continuing questions about why other countries, South Korea may be the best example, are testing thousands of people a day. And so far, the CDC says that it and the state labs total, the whole crisis have tested 13,000 people. Here’s how you and the president answered questions about the testing lag this week.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (06:59)
The idea of anybody getting it easily the way people in other countries are doing it, we’re not set up for that. Do I think we should be? Yes, but we’re not.

President Trump: (07:09)
No, I don’t take responsibility at all because we were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time.

Chris Wallace: (07:22)
The president says the Obama administration set up rules and regulations that made it impossible to do testing. You were in the same position under the Obama administration. Is that true? Is that what stopped it?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (07:34)
You know, Chris, to be honest with you, I’m not sure what regulations and when it was that they’re talking about. I really mean that. I mean, I’m trying to figure out what it is that these things were in place that were able to or inhibiting. But one thing that I do know now, is that the ability to get a test had some regulatory and other restrictions on it, but the FDA now has just gotten rid of-

Chris Wallace: (07:59)
They could have done that that day one.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (08:01)
Well, yeah, they could have. But the fact is, it wasn’t. So I tend to like to, instead of looking back, look at where we’re going.

Chris Wallace: (08:08)
All right. You talk about slowing the virus down. You talk a lot, and I’ve gotten very used to this now, you could either have a bump like this of cases or you could make it maybe the same total cases, but it’s a much more gradual and slower and longer curve. I want to put up some numbers. We have in this country about 950,000 hospital beds and about 45,000 beds in intensive care units. How worried are you that this virus is going to overwhelm hospitals, not just beds, but ventilators? We only have 160,000 ventilators, and could we be in a situation where you have to ration who gets the bed? Who gets the ventilator?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (08:49)
Okay, so let me put it in a way that it doesn’t get taken out of context. When people talk about modeling where outbreaks are going, the modeling is only as good as the assumptions you put into the model. And what they do, they have a worst case scenario, a best case scenario, and likely where it’s going to be. If we have a worst case scenario, we’ve got to admit it. We could be overwhelmed.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (09:12)
Are we going to have a worst case scenario? I don’t think so. I hope not. What are we doing to not have that worst case scenario? That’s when you get into the things that we’re doing. We’re preventing infections from going in with some rather stringent travel restrictions, and we’re doing containment and mitigation from within. So add a worst case scenario anywhere in the world, no matter what country you are, you won’t be prepared. So our job is to not let that worst case scenario happen.

Chris Wallace: (09:40)
And final question. Three countries now in Europe, Italy, Spain and France, are basically in total lockdown. People not allowed out in Italy. I think only pharmacies and grocery stores are open. You see people on their balconies singing songs and banging pots. Could that happen here, either nationally or in some regions? And what about the possibility that we might have to have travel bans inside the country?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:08)
Well, there are a couple of questions there, so let me take one at a time. The idea of what’s going on in Europe is that they have been, they got into that escalation phase. So what they’re doing now is playing catch up. We feel that with rather stringent mitigation and containment, without necessarily complete lockdown, we’d be able to prevent ourselves from getting to where, unfortunately, Italy is now.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:35)
With regard to domestic travel bans, we always talk about and consider everything, but I can tell you that has not been seriously considered, doing travel bans in the country. Would it might be sometime? We always leave an open mind.

Chris Wallace: (10:50)
Dr. Fauci, thank you. Thanks for coming in. An awful lot of people are relying on what you have to say, and of course, we’ll be tracking what the president’s task force does this week. Thank you, sir.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:59)
Thank you. Good to be with you. Chris.

Dr. Fauci & Face the Nation Margaret Brennan Interview Transcript

Margaret Brennan: (00:00)
We’ve just learned that the UK is now advising against non-essential travel to the US. We turn now to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH. Dr. Fauci, thank you for making time. I know you’re quite busy. You said this week we are not at the peak, and this is going to get worse. How much worse? What are the numbers?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (00:24)
Well, I can’t give you numbers because it’s really going to depend on the effectiveness of our response, and our response… I mean, if you just leave the virus to its own devices, it’ll go way up like we’ve seen in Italy. That’s not going to happen if we do what we’re attempting to do and are doing and that’s-

Margaret Brennan: (00:43)
How do we get ahead of it?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (00:45)
Well, the way you get ahead of it is that, as I try to explain to people, that I want people to assume that we are overreacting because if it looks like you’re overreacting, you’re probably doing the right thing because we know from China, from South Korea, from Italy that what the virus does, it goes, percolates along, and then it takes off.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (01:04)
What we’ve got to do is a couple of things, and we’re doing it. One is preventing new infections from coming in, hence the travel restriction, and the other is doing containment and mitigation within the country, and it is correct that the infections are going to go up. Our job is to make sure it doesn’t do the maximum peak and actually blunts. Within that blunt, there will be many new infections. We want to make sure we don’t get to that really bad peak.

Margaret Brennan: (01:32)
American’s lives have changed dramatically in the week we just went through, and they’re going to continue to change. People aren’t supposed to be visiting nursing homes. People are being told to work from home. Schools are shutting down. Give us the reality check though. What is the mortality rate, and what is the recovery rate?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (01:48)
Right. Well, the issue is if you look historically, right now, when the United States were collecting data. Looks similar to what we’ve seen in some other places. If you look at the totality, China dominated that previously. The mortality was about 3%. That’s quite high for any kind of respiratory disease. If you look at the other countries, it’s somewhat less. If you count all the people who are getting infected and are not being counted because they’re not coming to the attention of a health care provider, then mortality would likely come down to somewhere around 1% or less, but even that is serious, and that’s why we’ve got to take this seriously because if you look at the typical seasonal fluid, it’s 0.1%, so this is a virus that transmits readily, it’s a virus that has a high degree of morbidity and mortality, and that’s the reason where we’ve got to do all of our forces.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (02:43)
Now, if you look at the recovery rate, the recovery rate is minus what the mortality is, so if the mortality is 1%, it’s 99% recovery rate. If the mortality is even less, overwhelmingly, more people recover from this than get into serious trouble. There’s no doubt about that, but we want to make sure that we not only decrease the rate of infection, we protect the vulnerable people who are within that percentage that have a much higher degree of morbidity and mortality.

Margaret Brennan: (03:12)
The President indicated that he is looking at travel restrictions, including within the country. Should Americans get on a plane right now?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (03:20)
Well, it depends on what the reason for getting on the plane. Anything that’s, in my mind, particularly if you are a person who’s elderly or falls within the category of underlying conditions, you should really think twice before putting yourself in a situation where you’re in a crowded place for an extended period of time.

Margaret Brennan: (03:39)
You wouldn’t get on a plane.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (03:40)
Right now… Me, I… There are a number of reasons why I wouldn’t get on a plane, but if I were not doing the job that I’m doing because of my age, I would very seriously think about not doing any travel like that.

Margaret Brennan: (03:52)
Should Americans get up and go to the office tomorrow?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (03:55)
Well, it depends on the situation that you’re in. To the extent possible, teleworking should be done to the extent that you could do it. I mean, there are some jobs you can’t telework. Let’s be real, but if you can, you should. You should avoid crowded places. That’s the things that we’ve been talking about all along right now. The CDC has a nice website. You go in. You talk about the different kinds of mitigations at different levels of involvement.

Margaret Brennan: (04:24)
Don’t go to crowded places. France is trying to close down restaurants and cafes-

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (04:28)
Exactly.

Margaret Brennan: (04:28)
… and bars. Should that happen here in the United States?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (04:33)
Every single day we meet with the task force, and we take a look at what’s going on. You don’t want to make a pronouncement that no one should ever go into a restaurant. I mean, I think that might be overkill right now, but everything is on the table. It may come to the situation where we strongly recommend. Right now, myself personally, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant. I just wouldn’t because I don’t want to be in a crowded place. I have an important job to do. I don’t want to be in a situation where I’m going to be all of a sudden self-isolating for 14 days.

Margaret Brennan: (05:00)
For those Americans who are now returning from Europe, how do we make sure that that doesn’t allow for further spread? How do you screen them?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (05:08)
I think the issue is, if you look at what’s happening now for people who are coming back from like the European countries, when they get back in here, they’re having an enhanced screening when they come back.

Margaret Brennan: (05:21)
What does that mean? [crosstalk 00:05:22].

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (05:22)
Well, no, no, actually just looking at them, seeing if they’re sick, giving them a piece of paper, “Here’s a telephone number. Here’s what you need to watch out for. Watch out for these symptoms,” and importantly, 14 days of self-isolation if you come from one of those countries that are on that list.

Margaret Brennan: (05:36)
Period?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (05:36)
Period. You come back, 14 days of voluntary self-isolation.

Margaret Brennan: (05:41)
Now, the federal government could invoke authorities to do things like quarantine for places that are hotspots like New Rochelle, like Seattle. Would you like to see that?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (05:52)
Well, it depends on the individual circumstance. The problem, Margaret, with my making a pronouncement with what should be done, you’ve got to look at what the situation is at the local level. I mean, for example, in New York City, in New Rochelle, it’s a very difficult situation up there. Governor Cuomo made some important decisions, which, in my mind, looking at what he did, were the right decision.

Margaret Brennan: (06:12)
The American Collage of Surgeons has told hospitals that they need to prepare to cancel, particularly elective surgeries. That implies that hospitals are about to get overwhelmed. Do we have the hospital capacity to deal with what is coming, and if we don’t, what is the plan? Is it to use military hospitals?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (06:32)
Well, first of all, again, you’ve got to look at what the bracket is of the possibility. If, in a worst-case scenario… and I don’t want to scare people… that you always got to consider, there’s a worst-case scenario, there’s a best-case scenario, and there’s something in the middle. We’re doing everything we can to not allow that worst-case scenario to happen. If it happens, which I don’t think it will because I can see the effort that we’re putting in-

Margaret Brennan: (06:59)
You don’t think hospitals will be overwhelmed?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (07:01)
No. No. I don’t say that. I say it’s possible that they could be, but when you say that people get frightened, but concentrate on what you can do to not make that happen, but if in fact there’s a scenario that’s very severe, it is conceivable that will happen, and that’s the reason why you have things like Strategic National Stockpile for ventilators and things like that.

Margaret Brennan: (07:24)
There’s concern about shortages of key supplies like that-

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (07:27)
We-

Margaret Brennan: (07:27)
… ventilators-

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (07:28)
We-

Margaret Brennan: (07:28)
… and cotton swabs.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (07:29)
Margaret, we would be unrealistic if we were not concerned that that possibility exists. What we need to do is to-

Margaret Brennan: (07:36)
But can you reassure the public that there is planning for those-

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (07:39)
There is-

Margaret Brennan: (07:39)
… eventualities. You know you’re saying-

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (07:39)
… absolutely-

Margaret Brennan: (07:41)
… it’s the worst-case-

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (07:41)
… planning. There’s absolute 100%, take that to the bank. There’s planning to address that, but we would be unrealistic to not pay attention to the possibility that it could happen.

Margaret Brennan: (07:53)
Millions of children across this country are looking at the possibility of not being able to go to school for at least a few weeks, possibly longer. Their parents are going to try to figure out what to do with them. Can they take them to playgrounds? Is that safe?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (08:09)
Well, it depends. If you have a bunch of kids in the playground, I don’t think it’s a good idea to congregate anybody anywhere to the extent that you’re-

Margaret Brennan: (08:15)
Of any age, period.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (08:16)
Yes. Of course. Yes.

Margaret Brennan: (08:18)
Because there is that perception that if you’re younger, you’re-

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (08:20)
No-

Margaret Brennan: (08:20)
… not as at-

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (08:20)
Well, if-

Margaret Brennan: (08:21)
… risk.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (08:21)
Yes, you’re… Indeed, but if a young individual, a child gets infected, they may do perfectly well from a physical standpoint, but they may bring it home to a person who is susceptible, so we can’t discount the issue of children need also to follow certain of these rules.

Margaret Brennan: (08:41)
If I were standing next to someone who was later diagnosed with the coronavirus, what do I do? Do I have to wait until I’m exhibiting symptoms, actually ill before I can get a test?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (08:51)
No. Right now, if you feel you are in a high-risk situation… Remember, just being in the room six feet apart or whatever from someone-

Margaret Brennan: (09:02)
Sitting having dinner, shaking hands.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (09:03)
Well, see, dinner’s different. It depends. If you’re having dinner for multiple hours with someone who has symptoms and finds out that that person is sick, that puts you in a higher risk. That’s something that you really need to essentially hunker down, get a physician, call them up, get instructions of what to do. If you walk into a room and you find out three days later that somebody in that room was infected and was asymptomatic when they were infected, your risk is very low. Very low.

Margaret Brennan: (09:36)
In the circumstance I need that test, when will it be available? I know you’ve made the point. It’s not just shipping them out. It’s getting them operational.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (09:44)
Exactly.

Margaret Brennan: (09:44)
How long before that happens?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (09:46)
I would hope, based on what we’ve heard from the CEOs of the companies that are now getting involved, that they’re going to be getting those tests out there in an easy way not only to be out there, but to actually get them quite soon. They’re talking within several days to a week to start to see it rev up. That doesn’t-

Margaret Brennan: (10:04)
That means testing within several days or a week?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:06)
Right, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be maximum because nothing goes from zero to maximum. If the company’s going to get involved, the laboratory groups that do this for a living, when they get involved, it’s going to go like this so that you’re going to start seeing test more and more available until pretty soon they’re going to be quite available. But in the next day or so, you’re going to find people who are going to say, “I wanted to get a test,” and they couldn’t get it. That’s going to happen, but the future, as opposed to looking back, the future is going to be like this as opposed to the inhibitions we’ve seen before.

Margaret Brennan: (10:39)
Several days or a week.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:41)
Again-

Margaret Brennan: (10:42)
That’s your timeframe?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:43)
You see, the problem with the pinning down todays, it’s going to be “gotcha” if you don’t have it in a few days.

Margaret Brennan: (10:48)
Well, no, we hear from a lot-

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:49)
Not you-

Margaret Brennan: (10:50)
… of viewers on-

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:50)
I know.

Margaret Brennan: (10:50)
… Twitter and elsewhere saying they’re concerned about being able to get this.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:54)
They should be concerned, but what we can say that now that we have the private sector involved, we’re going to see an entirely different scene than we’ve seen the weeks previously, for sure.

Margaret Brennan: (11:05)
Dr. Fauci, thank you for your time.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (11:07)
Good to be with you.

 

Dr. Fauci & Chuck Todd of Meet the Press Interview Transcript

Chuck Todd: (00:00)
And joining me now is a very familiar face these days in this crisis. It’s Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr Fauci, welcome back to Meet the Press.

Dr. Fauci: (00:09)
Good to be with the Chuck.

Chuck Todd: (00:10)
Let me start with the testing issue and I start it with there because I feel as if this is, we’re on repeat every week we’re told no, we’re ramping up and every week we don’t ramp up. That’s the why, should we believe that this is the week that this is going to work?

Dr. Fauci: (00:27)
Yeah. Chuck, I think the reason is because we really made somewhat of a sea change here. I mean obviously early on we weren’t in the situation where we could actually get the test out in a broad way and I mentioned on the show last week that we need to get the private sector involved and just a couple of days ago we had the CEOs there who are going to be now putting it on full overdrive. So I would expect that very soon. When I say soon, I’m talking about-

Chuck Todd: (00:53)
What is soon?

Dr. Fauci: (00:54)
Days to a week where you’re going to start to see it go up like this. Not everybody tomorrow is going to be able to get a test, but pretty soon you’re going to see a major escalation of capability and implementation.

Chuck Todd: (01:05)
I just want to point out, and this is just one example, Steve Peoples, he’s a reporter for the Associated Press. He shared his experience. “I’m presenting mild symptoms, headache, mild fever, mild cough. I want to get tested in North Jersey. Primary care tells me go to ER, ER tells me to call city health department. Health department tells me to go to urgent care. Urgent care tells me to go to ER.” And everybody says no tests.

Dr. Fauci: (01:27)
Yeah, that’s right and you’re going to hear about that even a little bit, you’re going to hear individual ones, but as a group it’s going to change. Chuck, it really is because once you get the heavy hitters from industry and private sector involved, they’re going to be able to make it go.

Chuck Todd: (01:42)
What’s realistic about the spread of this virus right now? And we’ve had, Governor Mike DeWine, who’s going to be on the show later, he goes, “Well, yes, we only have 26 confirmed cases.” But his scientific advisors, assume there’s a 100 … There might be 100,000 people with it in Ohio. Is that a fair estimation?

Dr. Fauci: (01:59)
It is. The nature of outbreaks are that you percolate a little bit along and then you reach what we call an exponential fave. If you look at every curve, Chuck, it does this and then it goes way up and Italy is an example of individual country that did not implement the massive type of containment and mitigation and it went way up. So they are here now. They’re really struggling. Our goal right now is that if you do nothing, it’s going to do this. We’re going to get more cases no matter what. What we need to do with containment and mitigation is to blunt that curve because left to its own devices, it’s going to do this.

Chuck Todd: (02:39)
How do you know when this curve is blunt? And do you have any evidence that we’re blunting?

Dr. Fauci: (02:43)
Right now, well, I’m sure that we are with what we’re doing, but the numbers don’t tell us that yet. So what’s going to happen is that if it goes like this and continues and doesn’t come down, if you have a mound, you’ve done something, but you don’t know about it until after the fact. On any given day you can’t say, oh, we’ve blunted the numbers because the numbers are still going up. No matter what you do.

Chuck Todd: (03:07)
Right.

Dr. Fauci: (03:07)
It’s how much up they go, that is the issue.

Chuck Todd: (03:11)
I guess the question is, are we taking these precautions that you and others have said seriously. I don’t know if you’ve seen overnight these pictures at various airports as people scramble to come back from Europe, stuck. I mean, look at these crowds in O’Hare. You had crowds in Dallas at Dulles, and these are people because of this worry. They want to get back into the country from Europe and they’re being jammed together.

Dr. Fauci: (03:36)
Yeah.

Chuck Todd: (03:36)
This is the federal government, the governor of Illinois basically said, “Look, we can’t do anything about this. This is the federal government.” What went wrong here?

Dr. Fauci: (03:43)
Now. I don’t think anything went wrong. I think it’s just the nature of the problem. When you have a situation where people are in different countries that there are going to be restrictions. American citizens that family, others permanent residents can get back. They don’t need to immediately get back because they think they’re going to be left out.

Chuck Todd: (04:00)
Well, but they came back, so they did do it.

Dr. Fauci: (04:02)
That’s what they did, but they’re not. They will be able to get back. When they do get back, they’re going to have some enhanced screening depending on the country. If you’re in the European group, if you’re now with the U.K. in Ireland, what you’re going to have is you’re going to have two weeks of self-imposed isolation.

Chuck Todd: (04:19)
Italy, you’ve brought up Italy a few times. I want to bring up a story here in the Boston Globe where one Italian journalist shared the following remark and it just said many of us were too selfish to follow suggestions to change our behavior. Now we’re in lockdown and people are needlessly dying. This is Saint Patty’s day weekend. There’s been plenty of bars and restaurants crowded. Is this a mistake? France just shut it down. Spain is shutting it down. I think Pennsylvania is thinking about doing this. Should the country shut down bars and restaurants?

Dr. Fauci: (04:50)
Well, that’s an individual question. What the country should do is absolutely and more so proportionately in those areas that have community spread. But as a country-

Chuck Todd: (05:02)
What areas don’t have community spread, right now Dr. Fauci?

Dr. Fauci: (05:05)
I mean real obvious community spread. So the question is that you want to bring down and hunker down everywhere, even more so. I’m not saying the rest of the country’s, okay, don’t worry about it. Everybody’s got to get involved in distancing themselves socially, if you are in an area where there’s clear community spread, you have to be much, much more intense about how you do that. That’s where you get things like school closings. You don’t want to close every school in the country, but there are areas.

Chuck Todd: (05:34)
Why don’t you and I ask this because do you worry that if some places do a lockdown, but some don’t. I think Indiana is one of the … Every state that touches Indiana has closed schools, but Indiana hasn’t for instance. So are you risking something if not everybody is following the same guidelines?

Dr. Fauci: (05:53)
No. Chuck, you always want to be ahead of the curve. I mean the golden rule that I say is that when you think you’re doing too much, you’re probably doing enough or not enough.

Chuck Todd: (06:02)
Okay.

Dr. Fauci: (06:02)
All right. That’s the thing you’ve got to do. You don’t want to be complacent. You always want to be ahead of the curve, but it depends on how far ahead of the curve you want to be. Don’t even for a second thing that I’m saying we shouldn’t. I like to be criticized when I say, “Oh, you’re being too over-reactive.” That’s good for me. Right.

Chuck Todd: (06:21)
Okay. Let me ask it this way. We had a healthcare official say this to us. That if we could guarantee that people would get their sick leave pay, guarantee that we can basically do what FEMA does in a natural disaster. Give people cash for the basics for groceries. And would you prefer a 14 day just sort of national shutdown to slow this thing?

Dr. Fauci: (06:41)
I would prefer as much as we possibly could. I think we should really be overly aggressive and get criticized for overreacting.

Chuck Todd: (06:48)
Okay. Have you made this point of view known inside the administration?

Dr. Fauci: (06:52)
Yes.

Chuck Todd: (06:53)
Is it getting push back or are they slowly getting there?

Dr. Fauci: (06:56)
In fairness, they listen and they generally go with what we say.

Chuck Todd: (07:01)
Should we expect more closure? Should more Americans be prepared to be hunkering down at their house?

Dr. Fauci: (07:07)
I think Americans should be prepared that they’re going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing.

Chuck Todd: (07:16)
That means no restaurants, no bars, things like that.

Dr. Fauci: (07:19)
Again, Chuck, when you say no, I gets-

Chuck Todd: (07:21)
Yeah, I hear you and say no, unlikely.

Dr. Fauci: (07:24)
Much more so. I mean, obviously you’re going to have people who are going to go to restaurants anyway, but for the most part, and particularly if I can say this, this is particularly appropriate and relevant for people at the higher risk. The elderly and those who have underlying conditions, right now should really hunker down.

Chuck Todd: (07:43)
Have you seen the reports out of France that they’ve had quite a few patients under 50, have some serious underlying conditions with coronavirus? Does that tell you that maybe we’ve made some assumptions that aren’t true?

Dr. Fauci: (07:54)
No, no. Actually, if you look at … Well, I wouldn’t say that are not true, but the fact is from the data from China and the data from Korea, we’ve seen a very, very, very small percentage of people who are younger. As we start seeing new data of younger people who are getting in trouble, we want to look at that data and also look at the virus to make sure the virus hasn’t changed.

Chuck Todd: (08:15)
Are you concerned that younger folks, because we’ve all told them you’re going to be fine, maybe are not practicing as much social distancing. Not realizing they can be spreaders?

Dr. Fauci: (08:26)
I think they should be practicing social distancing because even if, and I think it’s still true that younger people are at much, much less risk of getting into trouble. That doesn’t mean they’re not going to get infected and then they are going to infect the older people. So everybody should be taking really good care to avoid infection.

Chuck Todd: (08:44)
All right, and the final thing I want to ask you about is our hospital preparedness. The ventilator situation and the respirator situation both seem to be potentially dire. If we don’t flatten the curve, how concerned are you?

Dr. Fauci: (08:59)
Well, if you have a really massive increase in cases, there’s no country or anybody in the world that’s going to be perfectly prepared.

Chuck Todd: (09:08)
Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Dr. Fauci: (09:08)
But we have a stockpile and we will hopefully be able to back fill and refill that stockpile, but I think people should remember, that’s the reason why we want to blunt that curve. If you let the curve get up there, then the entire society is going to be hit.

Chuck Todd: (09:22)
Should all elective surgery be postponed right now?

Dr. Fauci: (09:25)
For the most part, elective surgery. Keep people out of the hospitals except those who need to be in the hospitals.

Chuck Todd: (09:31)
And if you think you have symptoms, don’t go to a hospital. Correct?

Dr. Fauci: (09:34)
Don’t. Contact a physician, contact a healthcare provider and get some instructions about how you can get tested but stay home.

Chuck Todd: (09:42)
All right, and final question is this, I want to show the picture of the briefing yesterday. Are you guys practicing enough social distancing? At the time the president was being tested, but I mean you looked up here and a lot of us are going, wait a minute, we’ve been told not to be in a crowd that’s small.

Dr. Fauci: (09:57)
Right? A crowd that small, but sometimes there’s business that you need to do. But I’m working on it Chuck, I’m working on getting everybody to do this.

Chuck Todd: (10:06)
Elbows out.

Dr. Fauci: (10:06)
I hope I’m successful.

Chuck Todd: (10:07)
Elbows out. Dr. Fauci, I know these have been some long nights and long days. Thanks for coming on and giving us more information.

Dr. Fauci: (10:13)
Always good to be with you Chuck.

Chuck Todd: (10:14)
I have a feeling I’ll be seeing you soon.

Dr. Fauci: (10:16)
I think so.

Chuck Todd: (10:17)
All right.

Dr. Fauci & CNN Brianna Keilar Interview Transcript

Brianna Keilar: (00:00)
Joining me now is a leader on the president’s coronavirus task force, the nation’s top infectious disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci. Sir, thank you so much for joining us.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (00:08)
Good to be with you.

Brianna Keilar: (00:10)
One week ago, we were reporting 19 deaths, 490 infected. Today, the count is at least 60 deaths, almost 3000 infected. And you say, as we heard, that the virus may continue to get worse for another two months. There’ve been estimates of hundreds of thousands of people in the US who could die or in the worst case scenario, millions. Can you tell the American people that that is possible?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (00:34)
It’s possible because when you do a model, you have a worst case scenario, the best case scenario, and the reality is how you react to that will depend where you’re going to be on that curve. Obviously, we are clearly going to have more infections. There’s going to be more problems with regard to morbidity and mortality. The challenge we have right now is how do we blunt that? I’ve said many times if you just leave it alone and let the virus to its own devices, it’ll go way up and then it’ll come down naturally over a period of several weeks. Unfortunately for our colleagues in Italy and in France and certainly in China, that’s what happened.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (01:13)
Our challenge right now is to do two things. Is to prevent the new influx of cases, hence the travel restrictions. And for what we’re dealing with right now is to know that we’re going to get more infections, but blunt it so that we don’t have that sharp peak, that we have more of a smaller hump. Even with that, we’re going to have people getting infected, but we need to try and get there as opposed to there.

Brianna Keilar: (01:39)
I do think one of the important points of illustrating for people the number of people who could die, is that it really makes it clear to them why it’s so important to do what they should be doing. So to stem the tide of this, are you thinking that hundreds of thousands of Americans could die from this?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (01:58)
I say that and it sometimes gets taken out of context, but we have to be realistic and honest. Yes, it is possible. Our job, our challenge is to try and make that not happen. But to think if we go about our daily lives and not worry about everything, that it’s not going to happen. It could happen and it could be worse. To me, that’s a real impetus to take very seriously the kinds of things… I might make a point that people sometimes think that you’re overreacting. I like it when people are thinking I’m overreacting because that means we’re doing it just right.

Brianna Keilar: (02:35)
On Friday, Italy reported there were 250 people who died just in a 24-hour period and according to The New York times, there’s a Seattle area hospital that sent a memo out saying, “Our local COVID-19 trajectory is likely to be similar to that of Northern Italy.” Is that what you’re expecting?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (02:53)
No. If we do not successfully do what I just said, prevent infections from coming in and dealing with the ones we have, this is a bad virus. Certainly, it is conceivable that if we don’t do that, you could get as bad as Italy. But I don’t think we’re going there if we do the kinds of things that we are publicly saying we need to do. We need to be very serious about, for a while, life is not going to be the way it used to be in the United States. We have to just accept that if we want to do what’s best for the American public.

Brianna Keilar: (03:27)
To that point in cities all over the country, bars and restaurants have been packed with people. This was the case last night. This was the case in many places in Washington D.C. And a new study suggests that it’s young Americans who aren’t really showing the symptoms that could really be spreading this and putting older Americans in jeopardy more so than we realize. Would you like to see a national lockdown? Basically people, you can’t go out to restaurants, bars, you need to stay home.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (03:54)
Well, I would like to see a dramatic diminution of the personal interaction that we see in restaurants and in bars. Whatever it takes to do that, that’s what I’d like to see.

Brianna Keilar: (04:05)
Okay. And for younger people, maybe they’re not as concerned. But in France, 300 of the most critical patients, half of them are actually under 50. So understandably, we’re focused on the elderly, but should younger people actually be more concerned too?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (04:20)
Younger people should be concerned for two reasons. You are not immune or safe from getting seriously ill, even though when you look at the total numbers, it’s overwhelmingly weighted towards the elderly and those with underlying conditions. But the virus isn’t a mathematical formula. There are going to be people who were young who are going to wind up getting seriously ill. So protect yourself but remember you could also be a vector or a carrier. And even though you don’t get seriously ill, you could bring it to a person who would bring it to a person that would bring it to your grandfather, your grandmother, or your elderly relative. That’s why everybody’s got to take this seriously. Even the young.

Brianna Keilar: (05:02)
You said lessening of social interaction. Well, let’s take a look at these pictures actually of Americans trying to get back into the country from Europe last night. I mean, we’ve seen these images at a number of airports, crowded lines for health screenings. What is your first thought when you see that?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (05:20)
That unfortunate that that’s not what we like to see, but human nature is human nature. People should realize if you are an American citizen, if you are a permanent resident, if you are a relative, you can get back into the country. You don’t need to get back right now. You can pace getting back. But we’re all humans. We all are afraid. I mean, and it’s understandable. I’m not criticizing it. Somehow we need to mitigate that because that putting people in crowds like that is not helpful.

Brianna Keilar: (05:49)
Should they be spaced? Should officials be spacing [inaudible 00:05:52] in these situations?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (05:54)
I mean, I’m not going to make policy here with you.

Brianna Keilar: (05:56)
Sure.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (05:56)
But if you can possibly lessen that crowding, one way or the other, we should do it.

Brianna Keilar: (06:01)
I want to ask you about testing because members of Congress were told on Thursday that 11,000 people had been tested at this point. How many Americans have been tested for coronavirus? Do you know?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (06:13)
It’s several thousand, but the thing we really got to focus on, if you look back, we would have liked it to been a little bit more different-

Brianna Keilar: (06:21)
Sure.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (06:21)
… than it was. Let’s look forward because what I really liked about the other day is that we now have the private sector, the big heavy hitters that are involved in making sure starting very soon, and I’m talking about days to a week, we’re going to see a revving up of the availability and the implementation. Saying a test is available isn’t the end game. Saying it’s not only available but you can actually get it.

Brianna Keilar: (06:46)
Okay. And so if you’re exhibiting any of the range of symptoms, will you be able to get the test and win?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (06:53)
It depends. I mean, I can’t say every individual, if you have symptoms, stay home. First thing, call up your healthcare provider, explain what’s going on, figure out a way how you can get a test. And I think as the days and weeks go by, the ability to get a test is going to be infinitely better than it was several weeks ago.

Brianna Keilar: (07:11)
At the news conference that you held on Friday, President Trump said that Google was working on a website that very quickly would help Americans get access to tests. Well, apparently that was news to Google. They’re now working with the government, but officials in California told my colleague Jake Tapper, they were actually stunned to hear the president say this because they had a pilot program that was set to launch next week only in California or part of California, and they were going to present it to the Trump administration, but there was not this nationwide initiative ready to go.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (07:42)
We’ve conflated two things there that are confusing. Google and their website that gives you instructions about where and how you can get a test is different from the availability of tests. Okay. So the Google right now, they were talking about, “We have a website up and we’ll be airing information and it’s kind of a pilot.” But still apart from that, having the test available in commercial places where you can get it are not absolutely wed to Google’s website. You could still get tested if their website isn’t up the way it should be.

Brianna Keilar: (08:14)
I understand. But if the president is essentially saying that Google has a website or is putting tremendous resources towards a website that is going to give people this information and that isn’t the case, how can the American people trust that ineffective response is being run if they’re being directed to incorrect information?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (08:34)
Yeah, I think the issue is that’s not the only way you’re going to wind up knowing where to get. You get on the phone, your doctor will be connected to the Walmarts and the CVSs and the other places, would you be able to get it? So having the heavy hitter commercials involved is helped by a website that can tell you where to go, but you could still get it apart from the website.

Brianna Keilar: (08:55)
The CVS and Walgreens were also surprised by sort of the promise that was coming from the president about the availability of drive-through testing. Where’s the communication? Because clearly the leadership, the communication is a prescription in itself. Where’s the stumbling block here?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (09:15)
The ultimate goal is to get to a drive through. Are we going to have it tomorrow? Unlikely. But will we have a much greater availability and implementation of testing in the very, very near future? The answer is yes. It’s going to be different next week than it was four weeks ago. That’s for sure.

Brianna Keilar: (09:34)
Are there going to be enough ventilators for what is coming?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (09:38)
It depends on what you mean by what’s coming. Right now, we have 12,700 ventilators in the stockpile. We will use the stockpile as needed. We will be able hopefully to backfill the stock file as best as we can. Remember when you talk about will we have enough, it depends on what we just spoke about. The worst case scenario, the best case scenario, somewhere in the middle.

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:06)
If you’re talking about a situation like Italy, if you get a situation like Italy, which I hope and don’t think is going to happen, you have to be prepared for it. That an outbreak, a pandemic like this could overwhelm any system in the world no matter how good it is. So the job is to try and make sure we don’t get to that worst case scenario.

Brianna Keilar: (10:28)
Because there may not be enough ventilators [inaudible 00:10:30].

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:30)
If you get to a worst case scenario, you’ve got to be realistic. There might not be. Let me get back and emphasize. The job is to put a full-court press on not allowing the worst case scenario to occur.

Brianna Keilar: (10:43)
What does that look like? If we get to that point where there’s not enough ventilators, then what are we seeing?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:48)
I mean, if you don’t have enough ventilators, that means obvious that people who need it will not be able to get it.

Brianna Keilar: (10:54)
And they’ll die?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: (10:54)
And that’s when you’re going to have to make some very tough decisions.