Fauci ‘Concerned’ About Speed of Reopening in Some States
Fauci cited guidelines published by the White House on reopening, with criteria involving a downward trajectory of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus cases, a downward trajectory of influenza-like illnesses, and the ability to treat all patients without crisis cases.
The dynamics of an outbreak in a state, city, or region “would really determine the speed and the pace with which one does reenter or reopen,” Fauci told lawmakers during a congressional hearing in Washington.
“I get concerned if you have a situation where the dynamics of an outbreak in an area are such that you are not seeing the gradual, over-14-day decrease that would allow you to go to phase one, and then if you pass the checkpoints of phase one, go to phase two and phase three,” Fauci said, referencing the recommended phased reopening.
Federal officials told states that phase one should only include the reopening of some businesses and activities before broadening further in phases two and three.
“My concern is that if some areas—cities, states, what have you—jump over those various checkpoints, and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently, my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks,” Faucided.
The doctor, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was speaking via video link from his home in Maryland.
The consequences for not following the guidelines, Fauci said, “could be really serious,” even as many states are reopening “at an appropriate pace.”
“There is no doubt, even under the best of circumstances, when you pull back on mitigation, you will see some cases appear,” Fauci said.
“It’s the ability and capability of responding to those cases with good identification, isolation, and contact tracing, [which] will determine whether you can continue to go forward as you try to reopen America. So it’s not only doing it at the appropriate time with the appropriate constraints but having the capability of responding when the inevitable return of infections occur.”
The vast majority of states in the United States have started reopening, with some letting nearly all businesses welcome back customers.
Dr. Robert Redfield, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told senators that surveillance of nursing homes is critical during the pandemic because the virus spreads even from people who are showing no symptoms.
Vice President Mike Pence told governors on Monday in a phone call that all residents and staff should be tested for the new virus in the next two weeks, according to The Associated Press.
The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment.