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President Trump, Governor Cuomo and health officials offer alternate COVID-19 timelines

BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — For those hoping the COVID-19 pandemic will be over soon, listen to President Donald Trump.  For those worried the pandemic will be ongoing, listen to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.  Meanwhile, health officials like Doctors Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx are giving a different timeline.

For President Trump, who has been adamant that the virus will not affect the country as long as originally predicted, saying that once the virus peters out — that’s it.

“It might not come back at all,” the president said during his daily briefing on Wednesday.  If it does, however, he believes it’ll only appear in “pockets” and “embers” around the country.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci — who is the nation’s top infectious disease expert — along with Dr. Birx, have contradicted the president’s belief.  They are “convinced” COVID-19 will return in the fall, along with the flu.  They were in agreement that it might not impact the country as it did in its first wave, and that’s because they say the country will be better prepared to handle it thanks to early detection and availability of tests.

As for the CDC, it’s director, Dr. Robert Redfield, said next fall could be “difficult and potentially complicated because we’ll have flu and coronavirus circulating at the same time.”

Meanwhile, in New York — which is the state that’s been hit hardest by COVID-19 — Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday “This is not gonna be over anytime soon.”  He also added that the amount of new cases and deaths weighs upon the actions of others, such as keeping up with social distancing measures and eliminating non-essential travel.  “More people will die if we are not smart,” he cautioned.

In the state of New York, there are nearly 252,000 confirmed cases — with over 142,000 of them being in New York City alone — as well as a death toll that’s approaching 15,000, according to The New York City Health Department.

As for the U.S., cases are approaching 1 million — with close to 852,000 already reported since the virus arrived in January, according to Johns Hopkins University.  The national death toll is also approaching 50,000.  It’s roughly 48,000 as of Wednesday. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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