National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday he expects COVID-19 cases to increase when the country reopens from its coronavirus lockdown.
In a virtual interview with the Economic Club of Washington, Fauci said that if restrictions are relaxed carefully and we have the capability to identify those who have the virus, isolate them, and trace those that have been in contact with, then the numbers of new cases will be low.
Under that scenario, he said models show a “low number” of new cases would be 70,000 to 80,000 nationwide.
Fauci said it is inevitable that we will have a return of the virus, or that it never fully goes away.
Fauci says by the end of this year we should know if we will get a safe and effective vaccine. Then, he says, the challenge will be making enough of it and distributing it in the U.S. and throughout the world.
Last week, Oxford University in London began human trials on a potential vaccine. The New York Times newspaper reports the Oxford researchers say initial tests of the vaccine on monkeys are very promising. If it proves effective, there could reportedly be several million doses available by September.