- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 26, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, on Thursday warned that COVID-19 could be seasonal in nature while expressing hope that warmer temperatures in the spring could have an effect in slowing the spread.

Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said science “in part” bears out the idea that warmer temperatures could slow the spread of the virus.

“What we don’t know is whether this is going to happen with this virus, because this is a unique virus which we had no experience [with] before. We’re hoping that’s the case — we hope we get a respite as we get into April, May and June,” Dr. Fauci said in an interview for NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

“Likely, it will come around next season because it’s a very vigorous virus, and we’re seeing it already infecting people in the southern hemisphere now as they enter into their winter,” he said. “So I hope and I think we might get a respite with the weather, which would hopefully give us more time to better prepare for what might be a second or a seasonal cycling.”

The comments echoed what Dr. Fauci had said Wednesday at a briefing at the White House.

“I know we’ll be successful in putting this down now, but we really need to be prepared for another cycle,” he said at the briefing.

There are now more than 487,600 confirmed coronavirus cases around the globe, including more than 69,000 in the U.S., according to a tracker from Johns Hopkins University.

There are more than 22,000 coronavirus-related deaths worldwide and more than 1,000 deaths in the U.S.

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