Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the United States, warned Monday that there will be another coronavirus outbreak in the fall.
The prediction was made during President Donald Trump's daily COVID-19 briefing in response to a reporter who asked whether the White House expects the virus to reemerge in the fall.
"In fact, I would anticipate that that would actually happen because of the degree of transmissibility," Fauci said.
However, the doctor said COVID-19's reemergence would be a "totally different ballgame" because of what is being learned during the first outbreak.
"There'll be several things that'll be different. Our ability to go out and be able to test, identify, isolate, and contact trace will be orders of magnitude better than what it was just a couple of months ago," Fauci explained. "In addition, we have a number of clinical trials that are looking at a variety of therapeutic interventions. We hope one or more of them will be available.
"And importantly ... is that we have a vaccine that's on track and multiple other candidates," he continued. "So I would anticipate that, you know, a year to a year and a half, we'd be able to do it under an emergency use. If we start seeing an efficacy signal, we may be able to even use a vaccine at the next season. So things are going to be very, very different.
"What we're going through now is going to be more than just lessons learned; it's going to be things that we have available to us that we did not have before," Fauci said.
Fauci and other infectious disease experts have warned that COVID-19 could be cyclical, meaning it reemerges in a seasonal cycle, much like the flu.
Developing a vaccine and methods to combat COVID-19 is critical to ensuring the virus does not trigger another pandemic.
Unfortunately, Fauci predicted over the weekend that the American death toll from COVID-19 will likely be measured in the hundreds of thousands.