- Title: U.S. health official recommends NBA play without crowds due to coronavirus risk
- Date: 11th March 2020
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (MARCH 11, 2020) (UNRESTRICTED POOL) WIDE OF HEARING MALONEY SWEARING IN PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS AND CONGRESSWOMAN CAROLYN MALONEY (DEM - NY) SAYING: "And if you will all please rise and raise your right hand. Do you swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? Let the record show that they answered in the affirmative. Thank you and please be seated." (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANTHONY FAUCI, HEAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, SAYING: "We would recommend that there not be large crowds. If that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it." PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS SITTING DURING HEARING (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANTHONY FAUCI, HEAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, SAYING: "The seasonal flu that we deal with every year has a mortality of 0.1 percent. The stated mortality overall of this, when you look at all the data including China, is about 3 percent. It first started off as 2 and now 3. I think if you count all the cases of minimally symptomatic or asymptomatic infection, that probably brings the mortality rate down to somewhere around 1 percent, which means it is 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu." MEMBERS OF CONGRESS DURING HEARING (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANTHONY FAUCI, HEAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, SAYING: "What you see now in an uncontained way and although we are containing it in some respects, we keep getting people coming in from the country that are travel-related. We've seen that in many of the states that are now involved. And then when you get community spread, it makes the challenge much greater. So I can say we will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now. How much worse will get will depend on our ability to do two things: to contain the influx of people who are infected coming from the outside, and the ability to contain and mitigate within our own country. Bottom line, it's going to get worse." MEMBERS OF CONGRESS DURING HEARING (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, SAYING: "As of today, CDC has received confirmation of more than 990 cases of COVID-19 in 38 states, plus the District of Columbus. It's with great sadness that I report now 31 deaths in the United States." OFFICIALS AT HEARING (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROBERT REDFIELD, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, SAYING: "Where our real threat right now is Europe. That's where the cases are coming in. If you want to just be blunt, Europe is the new China." MEMBERS OF CONGRESS DURING HEARING (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANTHONY FAUCI, HEAD OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES AT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, SAYING: "I believe that if we have a major outbreak, we are definitely vulnerable to shortages. But Dr Kadlec knows more about that than I do." PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROBERT KADLEC, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES FOR PREPAREDNESS AND RESPONSE, SAYING: "Much of it is sourced from overseas. Some of it is domestically manufactured. And yes, we could have spot shortages. We're working with different companies in different sectors to see to enhance both their increased capacity here domestically, as well as obtaining supplies overseas from overseas unaffected areas to meet the demand. The most important demand is with health care workers ensuring they have the respiratory protection and barrier protection so they can see and treat patients without the risk of getting infected." PAN OF CONGRESS
- Keywords: Anthony Fauci Robert Kadlec Robert Redfield
- Reuters ID: LVA001C4M0APZ
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:03:36
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine,Sport
- Story Text: Anthony Fauci, head of infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health, told a congressional hearing on Wednesday (March 11) that he would recommend the National Basketball Association play their games without a crowd because of the fast-moving coronavirus outbreak and said the situation in the United States would get much worse.
"We would recommend that there not be large crowds, if that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it," Fauci said. "But as a public health official, anything that has large crowds is something that would give a risk to spread."
The coronavirus, which emerged in China in December, has spread around the world, halting industry, bringing flights to a standstill, closing schools and forcing the postponement of sporting events and concerts. Even the Tokyo Summer Olympics are in question.
The United States, where the S&P 500 stock index was down almost 4%, said it was considering a range of steps, including tax relief, to combat the virus that could put hundreds of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy.
More than 119,100 people have been infected by the coronavirus across the world and 4,298 have died, the vast majority in China, according to a Reuters tally. Italy has had 10,149 cases and 631 deaths. Iran has had 9,000 cases and 354 deaths.
The number of U.S. coronavirus cases has risen steadily and has affected almost three-quarters of the states. More than 1,000 cases and 31 deaths have been reported.
As the outbreak spreads, daily life in the United States has been increasingly disrupted, with concerts and conferences canceled and universities telling students to stay home and take classes online.
"Bottom line, it's going to get worse," Fauci told Congress.
The West has watched in shock as infections have ballooned in Italy, Iran, France and Spain after more moderate growth elsewhere. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said up to 70% of the population was likely to be infected as the virus spreads around the world in the absence of a cure.
The Trump administration is set to discuss new travel restrictions on European countries at a meeting on Wednesday in response to the coronavirus pandemic, sources familiar with the discussions said.
The U.S. State Department is also considering raising the travel advisory for potentially all of Europe to "Level 3: Reconsider Travel," airline and U.S. officials confirmed.
Robert Redfield, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told a congressional hearing that Europe was a rising source of U.S. coronavirus cases.
"Where our real threat right now is Europe. That's where the cases are coming in," Redfield said. "If you want to just be blunt, Europe is the new China."
Pence said in a news briefing on Tuesday that the coronavirus task force had a thorough discussion earlier in the day about the prospect of recommending further travel advisories to President Donald Trump.
(Production: Arlene Eiras)
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