Image by Images via Pixabay/Victor Tangermann

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House's top infectious disease expert who's been spearheading the fight against the coronavirus, shared an uncharacteristic degree of doom and gloom during a recent conference with biotech executives.

During a talk on Tuesday, Fauci said that COVID-19 is his "worst nightmare," The New York Times reports.

"In a period of four months, it has devastated the whole world," Fauci said. "And it isn't over yet."

It's that rapid spread that surprised Fauci the most, according to the NYT. Prior to the pandemic, Fauci would have expected an efficiently-spread disease to overtake the planet over the course of six months to a full year.

In contrast, extensive world travel and the prevalence of mild, easily-overlooked cases of COVID-19 spread the disease to multiple continents in just months.

"Oh my goodness," Fauci said. "Where is it going to end? We're still at the beginning of really understanding."

However, Fauci also pointed out some good news in the fight to finally control the pandemic: multiple experimental vaccines are starting to emerge as potential candidates for widespread use. One of the vaccines, according to the NYT, is ready for phase III clinical trials: the final round of testing to make sure that a drug is both safe and effective.

Unfortunately, Fauci said the government likely wouldn't impose price controls on whichever vaccine hits the market first, a measure that would guarantee it stays affordable in the U.S. and worldwide.

"It's a profit-driven industry," Fauci said.