Dr. Fauci weighs in on 6M US coronavirus cases, deaths and comorbidity

The top health official speaks to "GMA" about the CDC's adjusted numbers that listed 6% of deaths solely caused by COVID-19 and what it means for those with underlying conditions.
5:39 | 09/01/20

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Dr. Fauci weighs in on 6M US coronavirus cases, deaths and comorbidity
We are joined live by the director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci. Dr. Fauci, thanks for being with us. I'm sure you have heard the president just speaking about you to Fox News saying that he doesn't always agree with you. He says he inherited you. Do you think the president trusts you and your advice? Yeah, you know, I think he does. I think when you get statements like that that doesn't really reflect what actually goes on. I mean, I was at the white house yesterday at a task force meeting and with the vice president and everything that we discussed including what you just spoke about regarding children, regarding what's going on gets to the president. He understands that so I think that's kind of a distraction to pit me against the president. We're all on the same team. Johns Hopkins said that the U.S. Has 6 million covid cases, over 183,000 deaths in the United States. So can you explain why the president would retweet a theory that suggests only 9,000 people have died of covid-19 here? Well, you know, when the CDC came out with a statement which really did reflect the reality that, in fact, if you look at the people who have been -- who died of covid disease, the point that the CDC was trying to make was that a certain percentage of them had nothing else but just covid. That does not mean that someone who has hypertension, or diabetes who dies of covid didn't die of covid-19. They did. So the numbers that you've been hearing, the 180,000 plus deaths are real deaths from covid-19. Let there not be any confusion about that it's not 9,000 deaths from covid-19. It's 180 plus thousand death. Now, Dr. Fauci, the CDC changed its testing guidelines last week from recommending testing all close contacts of infected person to saying if you're asymptomatic you don't need to get tested. The white house testing czar said you were on board with that is it true and if so, why that change? You know, that did create some confusion. The confusion has been straightened out now. The way that sentence was said, it gave the impression that they're not concerned about community spread and that people who are asymptomatic should not be tested. It's very clear and there was an admission that caused some confusion. That has been straightened out right now. There is no doubt that there's asymptomatic infection and asymptomatic people can transmit and you can and should test asymptomatic people. What the guideline was trying to do was try to make the point that not everyone who wants to be tested should be tested. Only if you need to be tested. Understandably that was confusing. Hopefully that's been straightened out now. All right. Also we had new reports of covid cases rising among kids and then we heard from the president's new pandemic adviser, Dr. Scott atlas who said yesterday schools should be open to in-person learning and college athletes should take the field saying, quote, we are the only country of our peer nations in the western world who are this hysterical about opening schools. Do you agree with that? Well, no, I think it's a little bit more complicated than that. Maybe it was taken a bit out of context and they didn't give Dr. Atlas a chance to fully explain I mean, obviously when you're looking at opening schools, the country is a large country and there are parts we call green Zones where you could without real impunity open schools as long as you're careful, wearing masks but there are areas part of the yellow zone and certainly in the red zone when there's a lot of viral activity in the community, you have to take a careful look about if and how you are going to open the schools. You may be able to do it with certain precautions. Physical separation, alternating of classes, hybrid approaches but some areas where there is such a high degree of infection you want to be careful if you do that. The best way to get schools open is decrease the level and rate of infection in your community. So if you're in a red zone, get yourself into a yellow or green zone and then we wouldn't be having this discussion about whether or not to open the schools so as a community, we need to pull together as communities instead of trying to determine should you go into school in this particular zone, get out of the red zone, get your community, your city, your state into a yellow or a green zone and then that would be much safer to get children to school. By wearing masks, social distancing and using good hand Exactly. Right. Now, I wanted to talk about vaccines because a third potential vaccine has entered phase three trials in the united States. The fda commissioner has now said a vaccine could be approved for emergency use before phase 3 trials are completed if there's enough data to show it's safe. Is that a safe and effective way to move forward with the Well, I've always said and I think virtually all of my colleagues agree and I don't think that's so much different from what Dr. Hahn said if you talk about what he's actually meaning. You don't want a vaccine to be available widely to the American public unless it's been shown to be safe and effective. Safe and effective. All right, Dr. Anthony Fauci, we appreciate certainly your time and expertise this morning, Good to be with you. Thank you for having me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"5:39","description":"The top health official speaks to \"GMA\" about the CDC's adjusted numbers that listed 6% of deaths solely caused by COVID-19 and what it means for those with underlying conditions.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/GMA","id":"72744993","title":"Dr. Fauci weighs in on 6M US coronavirus cases, deaths and comorbidity","url":"/GMA/News/video/dr-fauci-weighs-6m-us-coronavirus-cases-deaths-72744993"}