July 6, 2020 / 7:57 PM / a month ago

U.S. health official Fauci says COVID-19 outbreak is 'serious situation'

FILE PHOTO: Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 30, 2020. Kevin Dietsch/Pool via REUTERS

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. health official Anthony Fauci said on Monday that the current state of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States “is really not good” and a “serious situation that we have to address immediately.”

The United States is still “knee-deep” in the first wave of the illnesses, having never gotten the case number as low as planned, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said during a live internet interview with National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins.

“It’s a serious situation that we have to address immediately,” Fauci said.

Fauci said that he expects an eventual vaccine, now in development by several companies, to work well and provide protection at least for some period of time, but that it will not be infinite protection such as the vaccine for measles.

Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Giles Elgood

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