In an interview Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said that a second COVID-19 wave is “not inevitable,” explaining that the chance of a resurgence in the virus is dependent on states reopening “correctly.” The comment is a shift from the expert’s past statements on the what Americans should expect in fall.
Fauci made the comments during an interview with CNN Wednesday, in which he at once acknowledged the necessity of reopening the country, as he has increasingly done in recent weeks, while also stressing the importance of doing so in a measured way.
The second wave, Fauci said, “could happen” but is “not inevitable” — the potential for resurgence of the virus depending on how we handle reopening.
What we must resist doing, Fauci advised, is “leapfrogging over the recommendations of some of the guidelines” provided by officials. Doing so is “really tempting fate and asking for trouble,” he warned.
As highlighted by CNBC, Fauci’s “not inevitable” comment is a shift from his stance in April, when he declared he was “convinced” that we will be hit with new waves of coronavirus in the fall, when flu season ramps up. “We will have coronavirus in the fall. I am convinced of that,” said the infectious disease expert.
Fauci said something similar just a week ago, telling The Washington Post he has “no doubt” there will be new waves of cases. “The virus is not going to disappear,” he told the Post. “It’s a highly transmissible virus. At any given time, it’s some place or another. As long as that’s the case, there’s a risk of resurgence.”
While Fauci has often been portrayed by the left-leaning mainstream media as being at odds with Trump on his calls for reopening the country, Fauci has long acknowledged that the extreme lockdown mandates are unsustainable. As The Daily Wire reported, Fauci has been emphasizing that point as far back as March.
“If you knock down the economy completely and disrupt infrastructure, you may be causing health issues, unintended consequences, for people who need to be able to get to places and can’t,” said in an interview in March. “[I]f you lock down everything now, you’re going to crash the whole society,” Fauci warned.
“When you get a place like New York or Washington or California, you have got to ratchet it up,” Fauci explained. “But it is felt — and it isn’t me only speaking, it’s a bunch of people who make the decisions — that if you lock down everything now, you’re going to crash the whole society. So, you do what you can do, as best as you can. Do as much physical separation as you can and ratchet it up at the places you know are at highest risk.”
Fauci again warned about the potential dangers of “prolonged” lockdowns last week, telling CNBC that overly stringent “stay-at-home” orders may end up causing “irreparable damage.” While the virus obviously still poses a threat to many areas, he suggested, “now is the time, depending upon where you are and what your situation is, to begin to seriously look at reopening the economy, reopening the country to try to get back to some degree of normal.”
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