Fauci: COVID-19 vaccine, treatment by autumn 'a bridge too far'

May 13, 2020

According to Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), it's “a bridge too far” to consider that medical therapeutics and an efficacious vaccine could be at play in the United States at the end of August.

That is when 50 million American schoolchildren and 20 million college students consider returning to classes after moving to distance learning in March and April in the face of the novel coronavirus.

Fauci's remarks came during a three-hour-plus Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing—conducted via video conferencing—on the state of pandemic response.

Throughout the hearing, senators from both sides of the aisle implored the experts for more detailed guidance on reopening, especially for schools and higher education, saying that, without schools returning to on-site classes in the fall, millions of at-risk kids could fall behind, or go hungry. Moreover, parents would not be able to participate in a full economic recovery if children were still learning at home.

Fauci warned senators that states risk new and worsening COVID-19 outbreaks if they skip steps illustrated in the "Open America Again" guidelines published last month.

According to the New York Times tracker, there are almost 1,400,000 COVID-19 cases and nearly 83,000 fatalities. As case counts mount, new polls show how Americans are thinking about the virus.

According to a CNN poll, four out of five Americans are afraid or concerned about a second wave of COVID-19 cases in the fall. Only 18 percent say they are not concerned.

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