Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that his job is to “not let that worst case scenario happen” as coronavirus spreads in the United States.
Fauci discussed the situation with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” saying that he hoped to avoid the worst but that part of addressing the situation was assessing what that worst case scenario could look like. (RELATED: Trump Tests Negative For Coronavirus)
Wallace set up the topic by acknowledging that the administration’s stated goal was to slow the spread of coronavirus in order to ensure that as people got sick, treatment and necessary hospital resources would be available rather than overwhelmed.
“We have in this country about 950,000 hospital beds and about 45,000 beds in intensive care units,” Wallace explained. “How worried are you that this virus is going to overwhelm hospitals, not just beds, but ventilators? We only have 160,000 ventilators and could we be in a situation where you have to ration who gets the bed, who gets the ventilator?”
“Let me put it in a way so that it doesn’t get taken out of context,” Fauci responded. “When people talk about modeling where outbreaks are going, it’s only as good as the assumptions you put into the model and what they do, they have a worse case scenario, a best-case scenario, and likely where it’s going to be.”
Fauci went on to say that acknowledging the worst case scenario was part of the process, adding that only once it was recognized could it be properly addressed.
“Are we going to have a worse case scenario?” he asked. “I don’t think so, I hope not. What are we doing to not have that worst-case scenario? That’s when you get into the things that we are doing. We are preventing infections from going in with some rather stringent travel restrictions and we are doing contained mitigation from within.”
Fauci concluded that if we were faced with the “worst case scenario,” we would not be prepared. “Our job is to not let that worst-case scenario happen,” he said.