Fauci Says Americans Should Expect 'A Whole Lot of Hurt' from COVID-19 in Coming Days

Dr. Anthony Fauci believes the nation could be facing more pain from COVID-19 in the coming days, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said in an interview with The Washington Post on Friday.

Fauci pointed to the coming winter as one reason the situation with the virus could get worse. His comments stand in stark contrast to President Donald Trump's repeated claim that the country is "rounding the corner" on COVID-19.

"We're in for a whole lot of hurt. It's not a good situation," Fauci told the Post.

"All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly."

Fauci said that former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign "is taking it seriously from a public health perspective" but that President Donald Trump "looking at it from a different perspective."

He said Trump's perspective was "the economy and reopening the country."

Fauci also criticized White House adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist. Atlas has previously made false statements about mask wearing and herd immunity. Atlas responded by tweeting hashtags suggesting Fauci was embarrassing himself.

"I have real problems with that guy," Fauci said of Atlas. "He's a smart guy who's talking about things that I believe he doesn't have any real insight or knowledge or experience in. He keeps talking about things that when you dissect it out and parse it out, it doesn't make any sense."

White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere criticized Fauci's comments in a statement issued on Saturday.

"It's unacceptable and breaking with all norms for Dr. Fauci, a senior member of the President's Coronavirus Taskforce and someone who has praised President Trump's actions throughout this pandemic, to choose three days before an election to play politics," Deere said.

"As a member of the Task Force, Dr. Fauci has a duty to express concerns or push for a change in strategy, but he's not done that, instead choosing to criticize the President in the media and make his political leanings known by praising the President's opponent."

Fauci has previously warned of more "pain" from COVID-19 unless conditions change. He told Fox News' Shepard Smith on October 28 that the northeast and Midwest could be particularly vulnerable.

"If things do not change, if they continue on the course we're on, there's gonna be a whole lot of pain in this country with regard to additional cases and hospitalizations, and deaths," he said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci Testifies Before the Senate
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH, testifies at a Senate Health, Education, and Labor and Pensions Committee on Capitol Hill, on September 23, in Washington, D.C. Dr. Fauci addressed the testing of vaccines and if they will be ready by the end of the year or early 2021. Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images