Coronavirus spread will likely get worse, ‘serious mitigation’ is necessary, health officials say

The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic Wednesday, as top U.S. public health officials warned lawmakers the virus' spread will worsen in the coming weeks and called for aggressive mitigation.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee that he expects the number of coronavirus cases to increase and that “serious mitigation” is necessary.

But Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., later said Fauci and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield had been “unavoidably detained” at the White House, and that the hearing would resume at 11 a.m. Thursday.

“We don’t know what is going on, but they cannot come back,” she said.

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