On March 11, 2020, the nation’s top infectious disease expert sat before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to address a novel coronavirus that had infected about 1,800 Americans.

“We will see more cases and things will get worse than they are right now,” said

, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

Within hours, the weight of Fauci’s words became apparent.

The NBA suspended its season after a player who had mocked the virus tested positive. The NCAA said its annual tournament would take place without fans. The Dow Jones Industrial Average entered bear territory for the first time in more than a decade.

The actors Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson said they had tested positive for the virus in Australia. More than four times as many people searched Google for the word “coronavirus” than for information on the weather. For the first time, World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described the situation as a pandemic.

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