Coronavirus is “my worst nightmare,” in some ways more than Ebola or HIV, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday.
“Ebola was scary, but Ebola would never be easily transmitted,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. Ebola outbreaks are also always highly local.
“HIV, as important as it is, was drawn out and over an extended period of time,” added Fauci, who was speaking via recorded video at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization International Convention. Many never felt threatened by the disease because it was always a threat “depending upon who you are, where you are, where you live.”
In the past, when people would ask Fauci to describe a potential disease that he feared most, he said he would often describe it as something that was a brand new respiratory infection that likely jumped from an animal and had a very high degree of transmissibility.
The world has seen outbreaks that have at least some of those characteristics, he said, but Covid-19 had all of those characteristics combined.
“Now we have something that turned out to be my worst nightmare,” Fauci said. “In the period of four months, it has devastated the world.”
The pandemic has killed more than 111,700 people in the United States, and nearly 409,000 worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University. Around the globe there have been more than 7 million people infected.