Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that the coronavirus “hit” Italy “really badly” because of an influx of Chinese tourists.
The chief medical advisor to the president’s coronavirus task force told CNN host Chris Cuomo that Italy is still not seeing new infections of the virus decline.
“It’s when the new infections each day start to level off to be the same and then start going down, then you see the curve go down,” Fauci explained, saying that some countries like China and South Korea have experienced that phenomenon — but not Italy. (RELATED: Dr. Anthony Fauci: Trump’s Decision To Stop Travel From China Helped Contain Coronavirus)
“Italy is not there yet. Italy got hit really badly. Almost certainly … Italy got hit very badly because they had a large number of importations from China by Chinese tourists,” Fauci said, adding that the these visitors provided the foundation for the disease to spread.
“And before they even knew what was going on, there was enough baseline people spreading that it essentially got out of hand and it became difficult for them, as good as they are, and they’re very good, to be able to contain it … it was more mitigation.”
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it is more difficult to predict the spread of a virus in the United States because of the sheer size of the country. “If you go now to the United States, we’re a big country and there are different patterns, Chris. Remember weeks ago, the hardest hit part was in Washington State. And that was a cluster of nursing homes, extended care homes … ” (RELATED: Dr. Anthony Fauci Comes Close To Recommending Complete Shutdown Of All Bars And Restaurants)
The doctor noted that the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States has since moved to New York.