Infectious diseases expert and White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci is back in the news, this time with a remark that many Americans who were subject to coronavirus lockdowns earlier this year will be glad to hear.
Fauci says that things would have to “get really, really bad” before he recommended a national lockdown.
It makes sense
Fauci made the remark in a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday on CBS. He was asked by CBS correspondent Jon LaPook what would have to happen for him to recommend another national shutdown.
“Things would have to get really, really bad,” Fauci said, according to the Daily Mail. “First of all, the country is fatigued with restrictions. So we want to use public health measures, not to get in the way of opening the economy, but to being a safe gateway to opening the economy’.”
He continued: “Let’s put ‘shutdown’ away and say, ‘We’re going to use public health measures to help us safely get to where we want to go.'”
Public health measures would include such things as social distinacing and the wearing of face masks. It would also, in Fauci’s mind, possibly include the scaling back the holidays. In an interview with CBS before the weekend, Fauci, referring to Thanksgiving, said that “… you may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering unless you’re pretty certain that the people that you’re dealing with are not infected.”
Fauci, with his public health measures, stands in contrast with the recent Great Barrington Declaration that was written by medical experts at Oxford, Harvard, and Stanford and has been signed by over 10,000 scientists. Citing the “devastating effects” of the lockdowns on public health, it argues that, those at risk ought to be protected, while everyone else ought to return to life as normal so as to achieve herd immunity.
Fauci, on Thursday during an interview with ABC, called this declaration “riciulous.”
“This idea that we have the power to protect the vulnerable is total nonsense because history has shown that’s not the case,” Fauci said. “What that will do is there will be so many people in the community that you can’t shelter, that you can’t protect, who are going to get sick and get serious consequences.”
He added, “If you talk to anybody who has any experience in epidemiology and infectious diseases they’ll tell you it’s risky and you’ll wind up with many more infections of vulnerable people, which will lead to hospitalizations and deaths. I think we’ve got to look that square in the eye and say it’s nonsense.”
Two different visions
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said in August that he would institute a national lockdown if “scientists” recommended it. “I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists,” he said.
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has promised that “we won’t be closing the country again.”