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Fauci says US should plan to ‘hunker down’ for fall and winter

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.Al Drago/Bloomberg

Six months into the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci is cautioning Americans to brace for the difficult months to come.

“We need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy," Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Thursday at a panel discussion with Harvard Medical School doctors.

“As we get into the fall and we do more indoor things, we are likely going to see upticks in COVID-19,” he added.

Looking ahead to flu season, Fauci said that he hopes everyone gets vaccinated and continues following public health measures.

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During the discussion, he said the country is “still in the first surge” of coronavirus. When restrictions in states are lifted, he said, it becomes like “whack-a-mole” with states such as Montana, North and South Dakota, Michigan, Minnesota, and Iowa currently seeing surges.

“It’s quite frankly depressing to see that because you know what’s ahead,” he said.

Fauci said the “real critical issue” is if there will be another surge in the two to three weeks following Labor Day weekend, which would be “very concerning.”

He said the country is likely to get a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year or beginning of 2021, and that he thinks the vaccine will be what “turns it around.”

Fauci’s comments follow the release of journalist Bob Woodward’s taped interviews with President Trump that included the president admitting he knew that coronavirus was a threat but chose to downplay its danger to the American public.


Lauren Booker can be reached at lauren.booker@globe.com.