Dr. Anthony Fauci feels the United States might be turning "the clock back" if the nation opens up its economy too soon amid the coronavirus pandemic. In mid-March, America started closing businesses, canceling sporting events and encouraging people to practice social distancing. After thousands of businesses were forced to close their doors, it seems as though several states are ready to get up and running again. However, Dr. Fauci feels that may be a mistake.
"My concern is that if states or cities or regions, their attempt, understandably, to get back to some form of normality disregard to a greater lesser degree the checkpoints that we put in our guidelines, about when it is safe to proceed in pulling back on mitigation," Fauci said during an interview with CBS News. "Because I feel that if that occurs, there is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you might not be able to control." He went on to add that it would "not only [lead] to some suffering and death that could be avoided, but could even set you back on the road to trying to get economic recovery."
Fauci warns that if states reopen too soon, "there is a real risk you will trigger an outbreak that you might not be able to control" — leading to "suffering and death that could be avoided" and setbacks on economic recovery https://t.co/OxeN3yh9Q7 pic.twitter.com/0R0wWoiYQe— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 12, 2020
Fauci testified before the United States Senate on Tuesday to warn of the repercussions that could take place if businesses open too soon and people don't follow proper guidelines. During an interview with the New York Times Monday night, he relayed his concerns that he would be presenting before the U.S. Senate saying, "The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate [Health Education, Labor and Pensions] committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely. If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: 'Open America Again,' then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal."
The White House has issued a three-phase plan called "Opening Up America Again," in which it sets guidelines on how the country is anticipating a safe re-opening. One major recommendation in the plan is that states have a "downward trajectory of positive tests" or a "downward trajectory of documented cases" of COVID-19 for two consecutive weeks. Each state is also encouraged to increase tracing efforts and "sentinel surveillance" testing of people in vulnerable populations.