Dr. Anthony Fauci advised states with rising numbers of coronavirus cases to “seriously look at shutting down”. Fauci made his comments in a podcast interview with the Wall Street Journal by Kate Linebaugh on Wednesday.
Fauci is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and has served since 1984 as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH.
Cases have sharply risen across the South from Florida to Texas and the West in Arizona and California in recent weeks even as the mortality rate has fallen. With the daily new case count hitting 60,000, Fauci warned last week the nation could see 100,000 new cases per day.
Fauci recommended the following to bring the curve down, “We have gotta just tighten things up. Close the bars. Indoor restaurants, either no or make it such that there’s very good seating. Make sure people wear masks. Make sure they don’t congregate in crowds. Make sure they keep their distance. If you do those simple public health measures, guarantee you’re gonna see that curve come down. It’s happened time and again in virtually every country that’s done that. At the same time, one extra thing if I might add. A lesson to the other cities and states, that when you open and re-open take a really good look at the guidelines. And in your quest to get things open quickly don’t jump over the guide posts, don’t jump over the checkpoints. Do it in a measured way, the way the guidelines delineate. If you do that the chances of getting a surge are much much less than if you just jump over things. So it’s take care of and control what’s surging now in the southern states. And the other states, be mindful of what happens when you open up and throw caution to the wind, cuz it could happen to you.”
After criticizing states for opening too soon, Fauci declined to name which states he was talking about. Fauci also observed that states that followed the guidelines had people crowded into bars without wearing masks that contributed to the new surge. Fauci noted he did not want to get in the position of “blaming people” because it gets off the message of, “what are you gonna do about it to correct it?”
On what states with rising cases should do, Fauci said, “I think any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down. It’s not for me to say because each state is different. New York did, what, you know, I was in multiple conversations with Governor Cuomo and with Mayor de Blasio and those are the things that we discussed. They did it and it worked. It worked for them.”
Fauci also credited human behavior for the rise in cases for people with a mindset to ‘let it rip’ after being cooped up in the lockdowns and not caring if they get infected but who end up spreading the virus to others.