"We have not yet reached our peak. Now, we will see more suffering and death predominantly … among the vulnerables in our society… but built in that is a challenge, and the challenge is that we still have the opportunity to influence the course of that curve", Fauci told reporters at the White House briefing room.
Fauci went on to applause Trump’s decision to declare a state of emergency which he said effectively meant "all systems go" with regards to tackling the virus’ spread.
The United States has banned entry to people from 26 European countries this week in a bid to contain the epidemic. Vice President Mike Pence said restrictions will also be imposed on flights from the United Kingdom and Ireland, starting Monday.
More than 2,100 cases have been confirmed in the US as of 14 March.
The World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. The total number of confirmed cases worldwide has surpassed 137,000, with a death toll of more than 5,000. More than 69,000 people have recovered from the disease.