The nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci painted a grim future in a bombshell interview on COVID-19 with The Washington Post Saturday, warning that the nation “could not be positioned more poorly” to battle the pandemic.
“We’re in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation,” said the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors,” Fauci added. “You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”
Fauci praised Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for taking COVID-19 “seriously from a public health perspective.” President Donald Trump, on the other hand, is focused on the “economy and opening businesses,” he said.
Fauci called for the government to make an “abrupt change” in addressing the danger. He warned that COVID-19 cases in the U.S. could hit 100,000 each day — just as the nation hit that record on Saturday.
The dire warnings were a dramatic contrast to Trump’s repeated claims that the country is turning the corner on the pandemic, and that COVID-19 will “go away.”
Trump has claimed that the “fake news” focus on “cases, cases, cases” is a plot to stoke fear to hurt his presidential campaign, and that COVID-19 reporting will stop after Election Day. In reality, nearly a quarter of a million Americans have died of COVID-19, and that trend will likely continue without massive intervention.
Fauci complained that the “public health aspect” of the White House coronavirus task force has “diminished greatly.”
He also attacked Trump’s new health adviser, Scott Atlas, who supports allowing the coronavirus to spread among the young and the healthy.”
“I have real problems with that guy,” Fauci said. He’s “talking about things that I believe he doesn’t have any real insight or knowledge or experience in. He keeps talking about things that .... [don’t] make any sense.”
White House spokesman Judd Deere angrily insisted to the Post in response to the interview that Fauci “knows the risks [from the coronavirus] today are dramatically lower than they were only a few months ago.” He added that the president has “always put the well-being of the American people first.”
Read the entire Washington Post interview here.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.