On Thursday, October 8th, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for over 25 years and current member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, joined the Berkeley Forum for a discussion about COVID-19 in the U.S. and what we can expect for the fall and winter.
You can find the full video of the fireside chat here.
Dr. Fauci warns that we can expect a tough fall and winter based on the current high rate of infection nationally. He points to the extraordinary range of how people are affected by COVID-19 infection—80% of people experience relatively mild or no symptoms while 20% require medical intervention—to explain part of the difficulty in controlling the virus. Some people, especially young and otherwise healthy people may feel like they are at low risk and go about their lives, which propagates the infection even if not on purpose. He additionally discusses the health disparities that existed before the pandemic and partially explain the disparities in outcomes for different populations.
Looking forward to the "slow return to normalcy" when we have vaccines available and, one day, a post-pandemic world, Dr. Fauci reflects on the health disparities that exist in the U.S. and have caused the virus to disproportionally impact certain communities. He stresses the importance of equitable access to future vaccines and prioritizing communities who have been greatly impacted by COVID-19. These health disparities existed before the COVID-19 pandemic and he sees this as an important moment to pay attention to health disparities and begin to take action to address social determinants of health.
Until next time, stay vigilant, and let's do everything we can to stop the spread.
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