Full text of immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci’s speech at virtual National Institutes of Health COVID-19 Summit on November 6, 2020.
Introducing speaker: Good morning, Dr. Fauci.
Dr. Anthony Fauci – Physician and immunologist
Greetings to you all. It’s a real pleasure to be with you today albeit virtually to introduce this NIH virtual SARS-CoV-2 Antiviral Therapeutic Summit.
So first with regard to my opening remarks, I’d like to just spend a moment to point out the seriousness of the current situation. This slide shows both the daily cases in red and the current hospitalizations in blue.
As you could see it’s been somewhat of a roller-coaster effect which we had a very impressive peaking early on in the spring dominated by the New York Metropolitan Area, which then came back down but never got down to a low baseline.
The second peak is when we tried to reopen the country and reopen the economy. And this led as you can see here to a surge in cases, bringing up the daily number of cases to approximating 70,000. Went down a bit and then as the cooler weather came in and college students came back and people did more things indoor, we had another surge both in cases and hospitalizations which has now approached 100,000 per day.
Deaths as you see came down after the initial Northeastern city peak but have remained stable around 700 to 1000 per day, an unacceptably high level so the challenge we have is truly extraordinary. And in that regard, this is the NIAID strategic plan for COVID-19 research that we put out in April of this year. There were four major components of it. We’re going to discuss in today’s workshop the characterization and testing of therapeutics of which we have already and there will be more coming put in several hundreds of millions of dollars in cumulative NIAID spending.