Dr. Anthony Fauci just proclaimed that New York — of all places — handled the coronavirus outbreak “correctly.”
According to Fox News, Fauci suggested in an interview with PBS NewsHour on Friday that the Empire State should serve as an example for how the U.S. should handle the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve got to do the things that are very clear that we need to do to turn this around… Remember, we can do it,” Fauci said, according to Fox. “We know that when you do it properly, you bring down those cases. We’ve done it. We’ve done it in New York.”
Fauci went on: “New York got hit worse than any place in the world. And they did it correctly by doing the things that you’re talking about.”
“We’re going to see a turn-around”
Speaking with PBS, Fauci named “three or four or five things” that he said are “absolutely critical” to curbing the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. One, he said, “is universal wearing of masks.”
“Stay away from crowds. Close the bars,” he added, according to a transcript from PBS. “You appeal to the people in the local areas, close those bars. They are seriously the — one of the major reasons why we’re seeing it.”
Fauci said “if we do that for a couple of weeks in a row…I think we’re going to see a turn-around, because we know that that works.”
“You can’t guarantee things”
Fauci’s comments come as cases of the coronavirus continue to rise in the U.S. months after the pandemic first began. According to a tracker from The New York Times, more than 3.7 million cases of the disease have been confirmed in America, with at least 140,000 deaths.
With rising numbers, states like Ohio are considering following Fauci’s advice and issuing mask mandates, as USA Today reports. “We are at the point where we could become Florida,” the state’s Republican governor said, according to USA Today. “When you look at our numbers today vs. where Florida was a month ago, we have very similar numbers. So we’re very, very concerned.”
But there is some good news in all of this: according to Fauci, a vaccine could be closer than we think.
“We have gone from the sequence of the virus to a vaccine development program in days. We went from that, 62 days later, to get a phase one trial going,” Fauci told PBS. “Generally, that would take a couple of years to get to that point. We’re already there. We’re going into a phase three trial at the end of the month. And there are a number of other candidates that we will be following sequentially.”
He went on: “When you’re dealing with vaccines, you can’t guarantee things. But you can say, based on the science and the way things are going, that I’m cautiously optimistic that we can meet that projection that we made, that I made months ago.”