Dr. Fauci addresses NEMSMA audience and EMS providers around the nation, thanking proivders for their service and encouraging providers to look out for one another.
"Together we can do this, we can end this terrible scourge. Stay safe and please look out for one another. Thank you again for your service and protecting the health of your communities and our country."
Warm greetings to you all my name is Tony Fauci and I am the director of the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases at the national institutes of health in Bethesda, Maryland and a member of the white house coronavirus task force.
I am delighted to have this opportunity to extend my deep gratitude to the National Emergency Medical Services Management Association (NEMSMA) and to all ems workers around the country for the extraordinary contributions you have made to the United States public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Your competence working on the front lines during the initial terrible surge of infections and deaths that overwhelmed hospitals and nursing homes, to the current resurgence of cases and hospitalizations that certain regions of our country are experiencing today, has been truly remarkable.
Under extremely difficult conditions, and at great risk to your own health, to bravely do your job day after day while caring for patients with a novel and highly transmissible pathogenic virus is an extraordinary demonstration of selflessness and compassion.
To my mind your courage and commitment are genuinely heroic. I am profoundly aware that this arduous fight to protect yourselves, those you love, and your communities has likely caused many of you to feel mentally and physically exhausted. Please hang in there now more than ever we need your resiliency. here in the United States the COVID-19 pandemic remains a serious problem. A staggering number of lives have been lost and many more who have recovered from the coronavirus infection suffered debilitating after effects.
Americans initially came together and successfully flattened the curve which enabled hospitals to survive the initial surge of infections at the beginning of the pandemic. Subsequently, however, several areas of our country began reopening prematurely in an accelerated fashion or had citizenry that did not adhere to guidelines before those areas had reduced the pool of infected people to a low enough level that community transmissions of the virus could easily be brought under control through the containment measures of identification isolation and contact tracing.
Consequently certain parts of the country are now struggling with alarming resurgences in cases. Our country is large and diverse and thus solutions must be tailored locally. I am hopeful that with the guidance provided by your states cities and communities, and the sustained discipline required of us all, we will as a nation gain the upper hand over this pandemic.
However now is not the time for complacency rather we must intensify our efforts since our job certainly is not done. We also must remain vigilant in the face of future uncertainties. We do not know how the pandemic may further evolve or what its ultimate impact will be, especially as we head into fall and winter seasons and the return of seasonal influenza.
Although our country's return to normality will be neither fast nor easy we can be encouraged by the comeback that occurred in states such as New York and Massachusetts which reduced community transmission of the coronavirus from very high to very low levels using the public health tools we have in hand.
Public health endeavors are the pathway, not the obstacle, to economically reopening our country heartening progress also is being made on the scientific front. In this regard, large-scale efficacy trials of several promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates developed in record time are starting to be launched although one can never guarantee success in vaccine development I am cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by early 2021. Clinical trials of multiple different treatments including monoclonal antibodies, convalescent plasma, and hyperimmune globulin may yield results even sooner.
Unquestionably we in the United States are at a critical moment in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time for everyone to dig deep and summon their resolve by adhering to the simple practices we know work to protect ourselves and others until we have the medical tools in hand to effectively treat and prevent this disease. Face coverings, physical distancing, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands. Together we can do this we can end this terrible scourge and so stay safe and please look out for one another thank you again for your service and protecting the health of your communities and our country and I wish you all the very best.
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