WASHINGTON — Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House task force, told lawmakers on Tuesday that he was concerned states were reopening too quickly, leading to more outbreaks of COVID-19.
Testifying before a Senate panel on the government’s coronavirus response, Fauci, a highly respected infectious disease expert, said states reopening retail stores and easing social distancing guidelines weren’t following the recommendations of public health officials.
“What we have worked out is a guideline framework of how we safely open America again and there are several checkpoints in that,” Fauci, the respected director of the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases, said.
“My concern is that 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,” he said.
“The consequences could be really serious,” he added. “There is no doubt that even under best of circumstances, when you pull back on mitigation, you will see some cases appear.”
More than 30 US states have begun easing social distancing restrictions and allowing businesses to reopen at a reduced capacity as President Trump pushes for America to return to work.
States such as Georgia which were the first to reopen have unsuccessfully flattened the rate of new coronavirus cases.
The virus has so far killed 80,000 people in the U.S. and infected 1.38 million.
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