Dr. Anthony Fauci offered a sobering assessment on Thursday of what lies ahead for Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, saying the country needs to “hunker down” and never “underestimate” the pandemic. “We need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter, because it’s not going to be easy,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said during a live-streamed panel discussion with doctors from Harvard Medical School. He went on to say it was “depressing” to see pandemic-related restrictions ignored because “you know what’s ahead” when that happens.
“We’ve been through this before,” he said, drawing parallels between the coronavirus pandemic and the early days of the AIDS crisis. “Don’t ever, ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic. And don’t try and look at the rosy side of things.” Fauci did not mention President Trump, but his warning to not underestimate the pandemic came just as the president once again offered an overly optimistic prediction, reassuring the public on Thursday that the country is “rounding the corner” on the virus. The president’s latest reassurances come just a day after recordings emerged of him admitting to “playing down” the severity of the pandemic in order to not cause “panic.”