Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a top adviser for President Donald Trump coronavirus task force, has emerged as one of the most trusted voices on the coronavirus pandemic. So it is no surprise that some in the liberal media have repeatedly attempted to drive a wedge between him and the president by highlighting any hints of disagreement.
But Democrats who were hoping Dr. Fauci would disagree with Trump about extended shutdowns got an unpleasant surprise on Monday.
Instead, Fauci echoed Trump’s concerns and warned of economic catastrophe if a nationwide lockdown is imposed, The Daily Wire reported.
Warning: “Unintended consequences”
Dr. Fauci spoke briefly with a reporter for Science magazine on Monday ahead of the daily task force meeting at the White House, and it was obvious by the tenor of virtually every question that the interviewer was hoping to create distance between the doctor and the president.
About mid-way through the interview, the question about the lack of a nationwide lockdown — and whether that was a “mistake” — came up in the conversation.
“No, I don’t think we could say it’s a mistake or not a mistake,” Fauci replied. “There is a discussion and a delicate balance about what’s the overall impact of shutting everything down completely for an indefinite period of time. So, there’s a compromise.”
“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. You do the best you can,” he continued.
Lockdown would “crash the whole society”
“I’ve emphasized very emphatically at every press conference, that everybody in the country, at a minimum, should be following the fundamental guidelines,” Fauci explained. “Elderly, stay out of society in self-isolation. Don’t go to work if you don’t have to. Yada, yada, yada. No bars, no restaurants, no nothing. Only essential services.”
“When you get a place like New York or Washington or California, you have got to ratchet it up,” he continued. “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,” the doctor added.
“Cure” can’t be worse than the disease
As a doctor, Fauci probably would prefer to see a nationwide lockdown imposed in order to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
That said, it appears that the doctor is a pragmatic man and realizes both the impracticality of a nationwide shutdown and how such significant economic and societal disruption could prove just as dangerous as the actual virus itself.