Fauci Warns US Needs to 'Hunker Down' for Fall and Winter: 'It's Not Going to Be Easy'

Dr. Anthony Fauci has warned that the fight against coronavirus is about to get tougher, saying that he knows "it's not going to be easy," but the U.S. needs to "hunker down" for fall and winter. The nation's top infectious diseases expert recently spoke during a panel discussion with doctors from Harvard Medical School and shared insight into what the nation will be facing with the pandemic still ongoing and flu season right around the corner. "We've been through this before,” he said.

Fauci continued, "Don't ever, ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic. And don't try and look at the rosy side of things." Fauci also spoke about post-Labor Day COVID-19 levels, saying at the time, "We're right around 40,000 new cases, that's an unacceptably high baseline." He added, "We've got to get it down; I'd like to see it 10,000 or less, hopefully less." Fauci also spoke about current coronavirus vaccine trials, saying that they are "progressing very well." He is hopeful that the vaccine will be ready to go by the end of this year or early 2021.

Earlier this month, Fauci told CNN's Jim Sciutto that a COVID-19 vaccine may not be ready by October, as many hoped, saying, "It is conceivable that you could have it by October, though I don't think that that's likely." Commenting on the timelines that have been discussed, Fauci said, "These are all guesstimates." Sciutto also asked Fauci if he would have any hesitancy getting the vaccine himself — or allowing his family to get it — if it was approved before late-stage trials are finished, and he replied, "Not at all, Jim."

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Fauci went on to say, "I will look at the data and I would assume and I'm pretty sure that that's going to be the case, that a vaccine would not be approved for the American public unless it was both indeed safe and effective, and I keep emphasizing, both safe and effective. If that's the case, Jim, I would not hesitate for a moment to take the vaccine even myself and recommend it for my family."