On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the spokesman for the Trump administration regarding the coronavirus, said he would prefer that Americans implement a national shutdown to slow the spread of the virus.
Fauci said internal flights within the United States would likely not need to shut down soon, but also stated that Americans should do as much as “we possibly could,” adding he discussed a shutdown with the Trump administration, which was receptive to the idea, according to The Los Angeles Times. He asserted bluntly, “I think Americans should be prepared that they are going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing.”
He said, “We feel that with rather stringent mitigation and containment, without necessarily complete lockdown, we would be able to prevent ourselves from getting to where, unfortunately, Italy is now … With regard to domestic travel bans, we always talk about it, consider everything. But I can tell you that has not been seriously considered, doing travel bans in the country. … I don’t see that right now or in the immediate future.”
Fauci added that Americans should consider “much more” restrictions, adding, “Everybody has got to get involved in distancing themselves socially … Everything is on the table. Right now, myself personally, I wouldn’t go to a restaurant. I just wouldn’t because I don’t want to be in a crowded place… . I don’t want to be in a situation where I’m going to be all of a sudden self-isolating for 14 days.”
Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Fauci said, “I would like to see a dramatic diminution of the personal interaction we see in restaurants and in bars. Whatever it takes to do that, that’s what I would like to see,” as The Daily Beast reported.
On NBC’s Meet The Press, host Chuck Todd asked Fauci if he favored a a national 14-day shutdown; Fauci answered, “You know, I would prefer as much as we possibly could. I think we should really be overly aggressive and get criticized for overreacting.”
The Times noted, “For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia … The vast majority of people recover. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three weeks to six weeks to recover.”
Speaking of efforts to slow the spread of the disease, Fauci stated, “You don’t want to be complacent. You always want to be ahead of the curve, but it depends on how far ahead of the curve you want to be,” as MarketWatch reported. With regard to school shutdowns, he added, “Don’t even for a second think that I’m saying we shouldn’t. I like to be criticized [as], ‘Oh you’re being too overactive’ — that’s good for me.”