Fauci: ‘Whole Lot of Hurt’ for U.S. From Virus

WASHINGTON (AP) -
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Reuters/File Photo)

The government’s top infectious diseases expert is cautioning that the U.S. will have to deal with “a whole lot of hurt” in the weeks ahead due to surging coronavirus cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci’s comments in a Washington Post interview take issue with President Donald Trump’s frequent assertion that the nation is “rounding the turn” on the virus.

Fauci said the U.S. “could not possibly be positioned more poorly” to stem rising cases as more people gather indoors during the colder fall and winter months. He said that the U.S. will need to make an “abrupt change” in public health precautions.

Speaking of the risks, Fauci said he believes Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden “is taking it seriously from a public health perspective,” while Trump is “looking at it from a different perspective.” Fauci, who is on the White House coronavirus task force, said that perspective is “the economy and reopening the country.”

In response, White House spokesman Judd Deere said that Trump always puts people’s well-being first and Deere charges that Fauci has decided “to play politics” right before Tuesday’s election.

Deere said that Fauci “has a duty to express concerns or push for a change in strategy” but instead is “choosing to criticize the president in the media and make his political leanings known.”

Fauci has said that in his decades of public service, he has never publicly endorsed any political candidate.