(Right Country) – Dr. Anthony Fauci, the now-notorious director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified on Tuesday that an emerging virus found in pigs in China has traits in common with the 2009 Swine Flu and the 1918 Pandemic Flu (aka Spanish Flu).
He said that public health officials are monitoring the disease.
Fauci gave the comments to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, where he also explained that the “G4 EA H1N1,” virus, as it is known, doesn’t seem to be capable of infecting humans, but has “reassortment capabilities.”
“In other words, when you get a brand new virus that turns out to be a pandemic virus it’s either due to mutations and/or the reassortment or exchanges of genes,” he stated. “And they’re seeing virus in swine, in pigs now, that have characteristics of the 2009 H1N1, of the original 1918, which many of our flu viruses have remnants of that in it, as well as segments from other hosts like swine.”
Fauci told the lawmakers that there could be a “possibility that you might have another swine flu type outbreak as we had in 2009.”
Fauci says new swine flu found in China hasn't been shown to infect humans, but it's demonstrating reassortment, which could cause spread. Not an "immediate threat," but "you always have the possibility that you might have another swine flu-type outbreak" https://t.co/vAOmsWGPI6 pic.twitter.com/FzrRnjVNz5
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 30, 2020
“It’s something that still is in the stage of examination,” he added.
Later in the testimony, Fauci said that he was “quite concerned” about the recent surge in Covid-19 cases which eh blamed on states possibly opening too soon and the guidelines being ignored by some Americans.
“We have got to get that message out that we are all in this together,” he said. “If we are going to contain this, we’ve got to contain it together.”
Federal and state officials have pointed to younger people not adhering to face masks and distancing in public.
Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and Brett Giroir, assistant secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, also appeared before the panel on Tuesday.
Redfield said of the recent increases that it is “imperative” that Americans take personal responsibility to practice preventative measures to stop the spread of the virus.
“Specifically, I’m addressing the younger members of our society, the millennials and the ‘Generation Zs,’” he said.
“I ask those that are listening to spread the word,” he added, encouraging younger people to “embrace the universal use of face coverings.”