National Institutes Of Health’s Infectious Diseases Chief: Coronavirus ‘On The Verge’ Of Becoming Pandemic

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Noah Adamitis Associate Editor
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institutes of Health’s infectious diseases chief, said Sunday that the coronavirus is “on the verge” of being a pandemic.

Appearing on “Face the Nation” Sunday, host Margaret Brennan asked Fauci if the rapidly spreading coronavirus was becoming a “pandemic.” (RELATED: Coronavirus Deaths Surpass 800, Killing More Patients Than SARS)

Fauci explained that “a pandemic is when you have multiple countries throughout the world that have what’s called sustained transmission, from person to person, multiple generations.”

“Right now there are 24 countries in which there are over 500 cases. Several of them are starting to get to the second and third transmission,” he added. “So technically speaking the WHO wouldn’t be calling this a global pandemic, but it’s on the verge of that happening reasonably soon unless containment is more successful.”

After addressing whether coronavirus is a pandemic, Brennan turned to the reliability of the World Health Organization (WHO), saying, “The WHO has been criticized for perhaps being too careful around the Chinese government and they’re part of a U.N. agency and they receive international funding, China has tremendous power of them. Is that criticism fair?” (RELATED: College Student In Boston Confirmed With Coronavirus, NYC Patient Being Tested)

Fauci replied that “You know, I don’t know if it’s fair or not, but certainly it’s been spoken about. I mean clearly the director of WHO, Dr. Tedros is really an outstanding person and under very difficult circumstances, I think he’s doing a very good job.”