On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, compared Covid-19 to the 1918 flu pandemic, during a Georgetown University Global Health Initiative webinar.
“If you look at the magnitude of the 1918 pandemic, where anywhere from 50 to 75 to 100 million people globally died, that was the mother of all pandemics and truly historic. I hope we don’t even approach that with this, but it does have the makings of, the possibility of … approaching that in seriousness,” Fauci said.
On Wednesday, Fauci clarified his comments to CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Fauci said he was not suggesting that tens of millions of people will die of coronavirus, but that it is “historic” in the sense that it is also a highly contagious and lethal novel virus, for which there is currently no vaccine.
What is different in 2020 is that we have more tools at our disposal to combat the pathogen, as well as instant communications to warn and inform the public, Fauci said.