Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was speaking to senators this past Tuesday and issued a warning in regards to reopening schools and the economy too quickly. He said that it could be dangerous and ending lockdowns prematurely would likely result in additional outbreaks of the virus leading to more deaths. However, he did make clear that the decision to reopen will vary from one area to the next.
On Wednesday, the President was asked about Dr. Fauci’s comment by reporters at the White House. He said, “To me it’s not an acceptable answer, especially when it comes to schools.” Trump has made reopening the country a central part of his re-election campaign, which has placed him at odds with Fauci. The two have disagreed since early April when Fauci said in an interview that lives could have been saved if the country had shut down sooner. The discrepancy between them has caused Fauci to be criticized by the far right and online conspiracy theorists.
The head of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health Emergency Program, Dr. Michael Ryan, said in press conference today, “this virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away. It’s important that we’re realistic and I don’t that anyone can predict when or if this disease will disappear.” He went on to make a comparison to the path that has been taken in combating the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and how people are less scared of the virus now than when it was first discovered thanks to the advancements made in preventing and treating the disease. He went on further, “We do have one great hope. If we do find a highly effective vaccine that we can distribute to everyone who needs it in the world; we may have a shot at eliminating this virus.”
There continues to be efforts made in the area of vaccine development. Scientists just discovered twin antibodies that nullify the virus by attaching to the spikes on the virus, which it uses to enter human cells. The antibodies use somewhat different methods, but the hope is to find a way to use them together as a way to attack the virus. This could be more effective than using either one alone. In addition, if the virus mutates and one of the antibodies is no longer effective, the other one might still work.
In a report issued by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, the thousands of tiny fluid droplets that comes out of our mouths during normal speech could be a substantial way COVID-19 spreads as people try to resume their normal activities. Researchers used laser light scattering and discovered that these small droplets linger in the air. They estimate that one minute of loud talking would produce over 1,000 virus-containing droplets that could remain in the air for at least eight minutes. Many public health experts find this information concerning as places, like restaurants, are starting to reopen.