World-renowned researcher and Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci has expressed his confidence in ending the COVID-19 pandemic with an effective and safe vaccine along with public health measures.
Speaking at a virtual session of the Qatar Foundation-backed World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) 2020, Dr. Fauci stated that “It will take a year or two. You have got to roll out the vaccine together with public health measures until the overall umbrella of protection essentially is all over the world.”
Dr. Fauci, a member of the US coronavirus task force observed that asymptomatic infection should not be ignored as it leads to the community spread of the disease.
“We cannot ignore asymptomatic infection because that is a major component of the outbreak. And that is the reason we saw community spread and the insidious thing is it becomes difficult to do identification, isolation, and contact tracing,” Dr. Fauci pointed out.
Comparing the pandemic to the HIV/AIDs epidemic outbreak in the 1980s, the NIAID Director observed that “Whenever you have pressure, you’ve got to make sure you act in a very measured way based on evidence and science, but at the same time being sensitive to the needs of people. There are certain things about science that need to be immutable.”
Speaking on the exhaustive process of approving a COVID-19 vaccine and the legislative pressure to bring out the vaccine as soon as possible, Dr. Fauci asserted that “A lot of things are politicized but I think people across the world and in the US should realize that there are a lot of failsafe checks. We have assurances from the FDA commissioner that science itself and not political considerations will dictate the decisions about the regulatory components of the vaccine trial.”
Commenting on the intense ‘long Covid’, Dr. Fauci replied that “We’re starting to see emerging information. That’s why we need to take this disease with a degree of humility and commit to preventing infection, through the universal wearing of masks, avoiding crowds, distance, outdoor-better-than-indoor, washing hands, and doing everything we can to get a vaccine because it is not to be taken in a trivial way at all.”