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Tipsheet

Dr. Fauci Explains the Impact China's Lies About the Coronavirus Had on the Rest of the World

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Dr. Anthony Fauci frequently says he's not a fan of "looking back" and instead "looks forward" to what will happen with the Wuhan coronavirus. Every day the scenario changes as new infections, deaths and potential treatments are reported to the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

During an interview with "PBS News Hour" on Friday, Fauci made it very clear that China prevented the rest of the world from being adequately prepared for the Wuhan coronavirus.

"I just have a couple questions about where this originated. When did you first have a sense that this was different, that what had happened was not just another virus, that this one was going to be something more serious, much more serious?" host Judy Woodruff asked.

According to the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), things became apparent in early January when China claimed "the virus jumped from an animal reservoir to a human and wasn’t being transmitted from human-to-human."

"Well, it became very clear pretty quickly that that was not the case, that the virus was being transmitted from human-to-human. But not only that, but the nightmare that we have is that not only is it transmitted human-to-human, it does it very efficiently," he explained. "And when the numbers started coming in as to what the morbidity and the mortality was, it was during that period in early to mid-January that it became clear to me that this was not just another SARS. It wasn’t another MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. This was different."

Fauci said he doesn't believe anything would have prevented the spread of the disease, including China being upfront from the beginning. 

"What could have been different – and this is something people are going to reflect on when this is all over as they try and analyze what happened – is that if we had known that this was highly transmissible early on when it was just in China, I think other countries would have maybe been more quick on the trigger to try and inhibit travel from China to their country," he explained. "...That maybe there would have been more attention paid to the mere possibility that just travel from China in general, but certainly from Wuhan and the Hubei District, is something that could start an outbreak throughout the world."

"That delay in transparency, I think, likely had an impact on what I just said, that this could seed the rest of the world," Fauci said.

Remember: China wasn't the only one who lied to the rest of the world about the Wuhan coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) said the virus was not transmitted through human-to-human contact and they blew off Taiwan when they sounded the alarm on this potential pandemic. Both China and the WHO need to be held responsible for this.

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