Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, does not believe the United States will have to go on lockdown again.
Speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Thursday, Fauci responded to a outside caller who asked if the country will have to go on lockdown; he did not think that was necessary.
“I don’t think we need to go to lockdown again and shelter in place,” Fauci said. “There are situations, as I’ve mentioned to you before, in multiple interviews, where, when they were trying to open up a state or a city, that there were certain guidelines that were skipped over. Maybe you’re in phase two, and you need to pause and maybe go back to phase one. That’s entirely conceivable and may be recommended.”
Though some regions and cities may need to look at going back to phase one, Fauci did not believe that would be true across the country if people followed five principles: wearing a mask, keeping physical distance, avoiding bars, keeping good hand hygiene, and avoiding large crowds.
“I don’t think we need to go all the way back to lockdown,” he continued. “And the reason I say that is that we’re learning more and more. If you do five fundamental principles, in any situation, one, wear a mask all the time, consistently, when you’re outside, and can be exposed. Number two, keep physical distance. Number three, avoid bars or close bars if you can. Keep away from crowds, big congregations, and maintain hand hygiene.”
“Those are five not-rocket-science things that one can do. And we know when you do that, and states that have done that, they’ve actually flattened the surging curve and are starting to come down. So, bottom line, right now, I don’t think we need to go to lockdown,” he concluded.
During the same interview, Fauci clarified remarks he made this week about potentially wearing eye goggles alongside a mask. According to the doctor, his words were just a recommendation to people who want to be extra cautious but were not meant to be broad advice.
This past May, nearly two months after the lockdowns hit, Fauci said that closing the country down too long could have “irreparable damage.”
“We can’t stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences including consequences for health,” he said. “And it’s for that reason why the guidelines are being put forth so that the states and the cities can start to reenter and reopen. So we are enthusiastic about reopening, and I think we can do it in a pace that would be reasonable and that would get us back as a society from a morale standpoint as well as the economy. I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go.”
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