A top health official is warning that the severity of the coronavirus is being understated and that it’s on the verge of hitting pandemic levels. This news comes as 40 Americans on a cruise ship test positive for the virus.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on CBS News on Sunday to update viewers on the spread of the coronavirus. Fauci said that the disease did not meet the technical definition of a “pandemic” yet, but it is nearing that eventuality as it’s proven difficult to contain. “Technically speaking, the WHO [World Health Organization] wouldn’t be calling this a global pandemic. But it certainly is on the verge of that happening reasonably soon unless containment is more successful than it is right now,” he said.
Fauci said that more than 500 cases of the infection have popped up over two dozen countries. Some of the cases have reached the second and third stages of transmission. The United States had previously confirmed 15 cases of the illness, but Fauci noted that another 40 Americans aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the virus.
The coronavirus outbreak began in the city of Wuhan, China, last month. Over 1,600 patients in China have died from the disease while just four patients outside mainland China have died. Several airlines and countries have placed temporary bans on flights to China to limit the spread of the virus.
Chinese officials report that well over 60,000 people in China have been infected. The Chinese government, controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, is scrambling to recover from the public relations crisis the outbreak of the virus has caused. –Wasington Examiner
“Nothing short of the most comprehensive, rigorous, and thorough measures have been taken,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at an international security conference on Sunday. “China’s speed, scale, and efficiency all reflect the advantage of China’s system.”
Fauci is not the only health official claiming that this could very well reach pandemic levels soon: