Dr. Fauci warns of ‘irreparable damage’ if lockdowns are kept in place for too long but stresses that ‘very significant precautions’ still need to be taken when parts of the country reopen
White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said that extended stay-at-home orders could end up causing ‘irreparable damage’ in certain parts of the country if they do not open soon.
Fauci was speaking on CNBC‘s ‘Halftime Report’ on Friday when he made the comments, stressing that the country still needed to take ‘very significant precautions’.
‘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,’ the doctor said.
‘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. 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.’
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‘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,’ Dr Fauci said on Friday
While Fauci acknowledged that stringent measures needed to be taken when coronavirus cases were exploding in the U.S., certain parts could start opening up.
‘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,’ he continued.
Dr. Fauci did hesitate from endorsing the full reduction of social distancing measures and stressed that states needed to take ‘very significant precautions.
‘In general, I think most of the country is doing it in a prudent way,’ he said. ‘There are obviously some situations where people might be jumping over that. I just say please proceed with caution if you’re going to do that.’
‘There are certain things that you can do. The idea about physical separation, about wearing a mask, about not getting involved in crowds. You can still proceed to open, so long as you do those fundamental, baseline things.’
Dr. Fauci did hesitate from endorsing the full reduction of social distancing measures and stressed that states needed to take ‘very significant precautions
‘People don’t understand that, because when they hear ‘Operation Warp Speed,’ they think, ‘Oh, my God, they’re jumping over all these steps and they’re going to put us at risk,’ the federal government’s top immunologist told The Washington Post.
While Fauci did admit that the process to get a vaccine to the marketplace in the midst of the still-growing pandemic is more expedited than usual, he asserted it would still be just as safe and that no steps would be skipped.
‘You’re doing things in a totally unprecedented way, and you’re going really fast but not compromising safety because you haven’t cut out any of the steps you would have done had you done it the traditional way,’ Fauci continued.
The comments come as Fauci, who is on the White House coronavirus task force, has virtually disappeared from television appearances over the last two weeks.
Last week, Fauci warned that the U.S. could face even more ‘suffering and death’ from the coronavirus if some states rush to reopen businesses.
The move could also hinder states ‘on the road to try to get back to an economic recovery,’ he said while testifying at a hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on May 12.
‘It would almost turn the clock back rather than going forward. That is my major concern.’