Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said "our ability to go out and test, identify, isolate and contact-trace will be orders of magnitude better than what it was just a couple months ago."
"In fact, I would anticipate that that would actually happen, because of the degree of transmissibility," Fauci said. "However, if you come back in the fall, it will be a totally different ball game of what happened when we first got it with it in the beginning of this year."
More than 160,000 people in the United States have been sickened by the fast-spreading respiratory virus that causes COVID-19. It has prompted widespread closures of schools and businesses across the nation and thrown millions out of work.
REPORTER: So-- and maybe both of you could comment on this, and Dr. Birx as well-- are you prepared for this to strike again, say in the fall? All the efforts that are taking place right now to contain this, to be proactive--
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We're prepared. I hope it doesn't happen. Doctor, would you like to say something about that? I hope it doesn't happen, but we're certainly prepared.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: In fact, I would anticipate that that would actually happen, because of the degree of transmissibility. However, if you come back in the fall, it will be a totally different ballgame of what happened when we first got hit with it in the beginning of this year. There'll be several things that would be different. Our ability to go out and be able to test identify, isolate, and contact trace will be orders of magnitude better than what it was just a couple of months ago.
In addition, we have a number of clinical trials that are looking at a variety of therapeutic interventions. We hope one or more of them will be available. And importantly, as I mentioned to you many times at these briefings, is that we have a vaccine that's on track, and multiple other candidates. So I would anticipate that a year to a year and a half, we'd be able to do it on an emergency use if we start seeing an efficacy signal. We may be able to even use a vaccine at the next season.
So things are going to be very, very different. What we're going through now is going to be more than just lessons learned. It's going to be things that we have available to us that we did not have before.