Individuals have societal responsibility to end COVID-19 outbreak: Top US doctor
Jun 27, 2020
WASHINGTON: America's top infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci has said that individuals have a societal responsibility to end the coronavirus outbreak as the US set another single-day record, surpassing 40,000 COVID-19 cases for the first time.
Fauci, during the first White House Coronavirus Task Force press conference in months, said that there's no other infectious disease that goes from 40 per cent of the people having no symptoms to some having mild symptoms to some having severe, some requiring staying at home for weeks, some going to the hospital, some getting intensive care, some getting intubated, some getting ventilated and some dying.
"I just want to bring this out without making it seem that anybody is at fault, you have an individual responsibility to yourself but you have a societal responsibility because if we want to end this outbreak, really end it and then hopefully when a vaccine comes and puts the nail in the coffin, we've got to realise that we are part of the process," he said on Friday.
Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said that "depending on where you are in that spectrum, you have a different attitude to this particular thing".
But anyone who gets infected or is at risk of getting infected to a greater or lesser degree is part of the dynamic process of the outbreak, he said.
"I was at a stage in my life when I said well, I'm invulnerable, so I'm going to take a risk. I think what we are missing in this is something that we've never faced before is that a risk for you is not just isolated to you because if you get infected, you are part, innocently or inadvertently of propagating the dynamic process of a pandemic.
"Because the chances are that if you get infected that you're going to infect someone else. And although you may feel well and because we know if you look at the numbers that you'll probably hear later on, the overwhelming majority now of people getting infected are young people, likely the people that you see in the clips and in the paper who are out in crowds enjoying themselves, understandably," Fauci said.
The reproduction element of the virus is not less than one, he said.
"So people are infecting other people. And then ultimately, you will infect someone who's vulnerable. Now, that may be somebody's grandmother, grandfather, uncle who's on chemotherapy and who's on radiation or chemotherapy or a child who has leukemia," the top American doctor said.
According to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the contagion has infected over 9.8 million people and killed more than 494,000 across the world.
The US is the worst affected country with over 2.46 million cases and more than 1,25,000 deaths.
The COVID-19, which originated in China's Wuhan city in December last year, has also battered the world economy with the International Monetary Fund saying that the global economy is bound to suffer a "severe recession".
Scientists are racing against time to find a vaccine or medicine for its treatment.
According to Vice President Mike Pence, more than 2,500,000 Americans have contracted the coronavirus and over 126,000 have died.
All the 50 states and territories across this country are opening up safely and responsibly, but with the cases rising particularly over the past week, Trump directed the task force to brief the Americans.
On Friday a record number of 40,000 new cases were reported.
"Despite those losses since the end of our 45 days to slow the spread and the beginning of efforts to open up America thanks to the cooperation of the American people, the efforts of governors and state health officials, efforts I want to proudly say of the entire federal team under the leadership of President Trump, we have made truly remarkable progress in moving our nation forward," Pence said.
As the country opens up, more than three million jobs were created in the last job report, he said.
"Retail sales are rolling and, of course, the extraordinary progress in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New Orleans, areas that just a matter of a month ago were struggling under the weight of this pandemic and that now have arrived at a very, very different place," Pence added.