dogged but realist

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I understand "dogged but realist" as "persistent but down-to-earth." But I feel there is something subtle lost in this understanding.

What does "dogged but realist" mean then?

Federal officials confirmed the number of U.S. cases of 2019 novel coronavirus had reached 11 on Monday, describing the increasingly deadly global crisis as “explosive” and “unprecedented,” and suggesting it amounted to a potential pandemic.

Two people over the weekend in California became the second domestic case of person-to-person transmission of the virus, said Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She painted a picture of a dogged but realist federal and state approach to containment that now included measures in place at 11 airports across the U.S.

Source: Daily Beast Updated Feb. 03, 2020
CDC Coronavirus Boss Calls Spread ‘Unprecedented’ as Cases Surge in U.S. and Abroad
  • TheMahiMahi

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    The idea is that Ms. Messonnier is saying that although the federal and state governments will stop at nothing and do everything they can to contain the virus, they accept that in reality they will not be able to completely remove the chance of the disease spreading.
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