NIH’s Fauci warns Congress on coronavirus: ‘It’s going to get worse’

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Congress that while the current outbreak of coronavirus continues to affect Americans nationwide, the worst is yet to come.

Fauci testified before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, at a hearing dealing with the federal government's preparedness and response to the outbreak.

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"Bottom line, it's going to get worse," Fauci said when asked for a prediction by committee chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.

The National Institutes of Health's official explained that this is due to what he called "community spread" and the difficulty in containing the virus.

Fauci said that "although we are containing it in some respects, we keep getting people coming in from the country that are travel-related, we’ve seen that in many of the states that are now involved." This, in addition to community spread, "makes the challenge much greater," he said, adding, "So I can say we will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now."

The number of cases in the U.S. surpassed 1,000 Tuesday night.

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Fauci pointed to two factors that will impact how the U.S. is able to manage the coronavirus outbreak.

"How much worse will get will depend on our ability to do two things: to contain the influx of people who are infected coming from the outside, and the ability to contain and mitigate within our own country," he said.