'Things will get worse before they get better': Dr. Anthony Fauci

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci is interviewed on "This Week."
11:12 | 03/15/20

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Transcript for 'Things will get worse before they get better': Dr. Anthony Fauci
latest developments on the coronavirus pandemic. There are now over 156,000 cases confirmed across the globe. And more than 5800 deaths. Spain is now in lockdown. France and Israel are closing restaurants and other nonessential businesses. And here at home, the numbers continue to climb. Take a look at this map from last week, and now there are more than 2900 known cases in 49 states and Washington, D.C. That's every state except west Virginia. At least 59 deaths have been reported. Our fight against an invisible enemy has turned life in America upside-down. Mass gatherings put on hold. Almost 26 million students are out of school and more and more of us are working from home. As our nation faces this crisis, our goal each day is to provide you with were reliable information, to separate rumor from fact. To understand the true scope of this pandemic and what should we do to protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors. To be blunt, your ability to make informed decisions is impaired when we hear things like this -- We have contained this. Pretty close to air tight. When you have 15 people and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done. This is a flu. This is like a flu. Anybody that needs a test gets a test. If an American is coming back with testing, we have a tremendous testing set up where people coming in have to be tested. Each of those statements were either highly misleading or flatly wrong and further misinformation in a primetime oval office address this week caused more confusion. This is a time we need to trust the information coming from the federal and when any inaccurate information impairs our ability to understand what's happening. This is not a matter of political spin, this is now a matter of life and death, health and sickness. This morning, we will try to get more clarity. Our first guests joins me now is Dr. Anthony Fauci. Dr. Fauci, thank you for being here. You have said there are going to be coronavirus cases and you've talked about flattening the curve. We have all seen the graph. Let's take another look at the graph now, trying to slow the spread of the disease. But one thing that that graph is missing is numbers. Right. I know you don't have precise numbers. Can you try to help us understand when will life get back to normal, how long does this last? You know, it's going to be a matter of, you know, several weeks to a few months for sure. If you look at the dynamics of how outbreak curves go, you just need to take a look at China and take a look at South Korea right now. With China, they went to their peak and they are coming down right now. Just a day or so ago, 11 new cases in China, which is miniscule compared to where it was. Korea is starting to flatten and maybe come down a little bit. If you look at that bracket all of that was a couple of months, a month and a half for China and about the same. Although you can't predict accurately the way you interfere with that and not only diminish the peak of the curve, but even perhaps the duration, depends on the effectiveness in which you do the kinds of controls you've been talking about. The containment and the mitigation. Do we think that Korea and China are largely through this? It's over for now and hopefully for good. But the one thing that we have to keep an eye on, Jon, is that China really dramatically did what we call social distancing, they just shut down the country as they start getting back to normal personal interaction, I hope we don't see the second blip but it's possible. So we're looking, you know, favorably at the fact that China is coming down but we also want to look carefully to see what happens when they resume normal life. That's one of the things that we're interested in. Hopefully it will stay down but it possibly could come back up. That flattened curve suggest by flattening the curve, by doing all the mitigation it actually lasts longer. Right. Is the same number of people ultimately get infected? No, not at all. As a matter of fact. The way the curve is shown on the graph you showed it might look like the area under the curve is the same, that would be misleading, Jon, the peak is lessen and the numbers total will be less. So you are probably the most trusted person on this, are you confident that the federal government is doing everything that needs to be done to contain this? Right now, yes, absolutely. The fact is, what I like to see is when people look at what we're doing and say you're overreacting. For me, the dynamics and the history of outbreaks is you're never where you think -- if you think you're in line with the outbreak you're already three weeks behind, so you got to be almost overreacting a bit to keep up with it. "The New York Times" had a story this weekend about the worst case scenarios and some projections that were presented they say at the CDC, about a month ago, let's take a look at these. 160 million to 214 million people infected in the united States, 2.4 million to 21 million people hospitalized, 200,000 deaths perhaps as much as 1.7 million deaths. First of all, what do you make of those? So whenever people model and take a model, which is exactly what that is, a model is only good as the assumptions as you put into the model. When you do a model, what happens if the lowest here and the highest? The worst case scenario is either you do nothing or your mitigation or containments don't succeed. So although that's possible it's unlikely if we do the kind of things that we're essentially outlining right now -- Help me out, what's the range of possibility here, how many people do you think -- based on what we're doing, based what you know and your expertise on this, what are we talking about? I don't think it's that worst. Because I think what we're doing is going to have an effect. The president's decision to essentially have a major blocking of travel from China that already had an effect of not ceding the way in Europe, Good morning, again. I am Michelle Charlesworth. We are coming on the air and breaking in to give you a look at a live news conference about to happen with officials on the situation in Bergen county, new Jersey. Teaneck as we have been reporting, the epicenter of the outbreak in New Jersey with 18 out of the 31 cases in new Jersey. The mayor requesting self quarantining, only leave homes for food or medicine. This on the heels of governor Murphy closing all school districts. 75 and affecting 170,000 students and 16000 teachers. Let's listen to officials there in hackensack. We've got an update on what is taking place throughout Bergen county, and especially in the town of teaneck. This morning you are going to hear from the mayor of teaneck. City manager Dean Kaczynski, and you will hear from myself in regards to what is happening in Bergen county. You are going to hear from congressman Josh got higher as to what is going on at the congressional level. We are honored to have the CEO of holy name hospital, Mike merrin, and the chief medical officer from holy name hospital, Adam Jarrett . I would like to take this opportunity to recognize those who are with us, freeholder John Vause, director him Merriam, and the sheriff of Bergen county. At this time, I'm going to ask that the mayor and the city manager come up and address the public. Thank you. Thank you, Jim. Good morning. From the moment the outbreak started in westchester, teaneck has been on the forefront of getting in front of the curve on treatment and informing our residents of the dangers of the coronavirus. We have had three conference calls with our township residents and we have had 2000 people on the call. Since the outbreak, since our first patient came, I have been in touch with county executives at least three times per day as well as our management on the command staff has been in touch with the county executive. I cannot think the county executive enough for having all the resources and making those resources available to teaneck. I think it is very important that during this time we speak with one voice and we have one person who is going to be in charge of what happens in Bergen county, and that person should be run through the county executive. Our manager agrees as well as our command staff agrees that that is the way we handle this. The next thing I will just say is that everybody is in support of the executive action that they are going to be taking care of everybody standing behind me. It's done in consultation with everyone standing here. And the last thing I want to say to the people in my town, the people in our county and our state and our country, we will only get through this together. We will only get through this if we depend on one another and we take care of one another and we look out for one another. With that, I'm going to give it over to my township manager. Thank you, mayor. I have a short statement I want to read first that will lead up to my executive order that involves an emergency declaration for the township of teaneck. So just bear with me. The first statement, I just want to let everyone know what we are doing in teaneck, and I will go over the executive order shortly. Again, thank you, county executives, for your strong leadership throughout the crisis and making strong decisions to keep Bergen county safe. Thank you very much. As township manager for the second most popular municipality in Bergen county, I have an imperative to do everything possible to slow the spread of covid-19 virus and protect those who are most vulnerable. This is a difficult and extraordinary situation for teaneck. I recognize that people throughout the community, including our workforce, are concerned for their personal health and that of their

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

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