The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that a lack of openness by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials regarding the novel coronavirus’ transmission and their blocking of top U.S. scientists from going to Wuhan to investigate the virus contributed to the rapid spread of the CCP virus.
“Back then, the lack of full appreciation of the seriousness of what we were dealing in, was [due to] a number of reasons,” Fauci told Axios recently. “Some things were absolutely not known by anybody. And, some things were known by the Chinese and they weren’t very transparent about it.”
In addition, Fauci said the late reporting on the person-to-person and asymptomatic transmission of the virus also contributed to the spread. Fauci was clear that if U.S. officials had been aware of the asymptomatic spread, it would have changed the guidance on masks, social distancing, and contact tracing early on.
“You don’t know everything you need to know the first day,” Fauci said.
Although the CCP virus started in China in late 2019, it wasn’t until late January 2020 that the World Health Organization called it a public emergency. And, it wasn’t until July that the Center for Disease Control officially asked people to wear masks to slow the spread of the virus.
“We are not defenseless against COVID-19,” said CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield. “Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus—particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities.”
On Jan. 6, the United States reported a new highest single-day CCP virus death toll since the disease rocked the nation last year—a new grim record for a pandemic that has been worsening over the past weeks.
Officials said a total of 3,963 people died in the United States on Jan. 6 from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the coronavirus, a new high that is believed to be influenced by the recent holidays.
The new single-day high comes as the U.S. CDC predicted the overall death toll could exceed 430,000 by the end of January.
“The reality is that December, January, and February are going to be rough times,” Redfield said during a live-streamed presentation in December hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
“I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation,” he continued.
A new, more easily spread variant of the CCP virus was announced in the United Kingdom earlier in December. Fauci said this variant needs to be taken seriously as it has emerged in the United States.
“This just underscores the need to continue to put our foot to the floor and the pedal about making sure we do the public health measures that we talk about all the time,” Fauci said on the Today Show in December. “The wearing of masks, the physical distancing, the avoiding crowds, and congregate settings. Those are the kind of things that will prevent this new strain from spreading even further.”
Lorenz Duchamps contributed to this report.