Top US scientist: We're struggling to get coronavirus under control

Dr. Anthony Fauci says it would be “a false statement” to say the government has the coronavirus pandemic under control.

Ben Ariel ,

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday that it would be “a false statement” to say the government has the coronavirus pandemic under control.

“We are struggling to get it under control, and that's the issue that's at hand right now,” he said in an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation”.

Dr. Fauci noted that mitigation efforts are showing signs of success in hard-hit states such as New York.

“This next week is going to look bad because we’re still not at that apex,” he said of New York. “Within a week, eight, nine days or so we’re hopefully going to see that turning around.”

Asked if the eight states that have yet to impose stay-at-home orders — Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, Utah and Wyoming — are putting the nation at risk, Dr. Fauci replied, “It isn’t that they’re putting the rest of the country at risk as much as they’re putting themselves at risk.”

“Every time I get to that podium in the White House briefing room, I plead with people to take a look at those very simple guidelines of physical separation,” he added.

Regardless of whether you live in a larger city or small town, “sooner or later, you’re going to see a surge of cases,” he stressed.

The data in the week ahead, Fauci said, will be “shocking to some,” adding that Americans should “continue to mitigate, continue to do the physical separation because we’ve got to get through this week that’s coming up.”

Also on Sunday, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned that the next two weeks will be the "hardest and saddest" for America as the coronavirus crisis reaches its peak.

"This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans' lives, quite frankly," he told Fox News.

“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment – only it's not going to be localized, it's going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that,” added Adams.

US President Donald Trump said Saturday that the US is heading into what could be its toughest weeks as coronavirus cases rise nationwide.

On Sunday, Trump sounded more optimistic as he noted that the number of deaths has dropped in recent days in some of the “hotspots” of the virus.

“We see light at the end of the tunnel. Things are happening,” he told reporters.

There are currently 335,524 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University figures from Sunday. There are 9,562 deaths.