Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and White House coronavirus task force member, said during an interview on CNN Sunday morning that he doesn’t expect the economy to reopen like a “light switch.”
After expressing “cautious optimism” as signs emerge showing that the curve of COVID-19 cases may have begun to flatten, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Fauci about when he thinks the country will be ready to take steps to reopen based on the availability of testing.
Fauci responded that he views the reopening of the country as a “rolling reentry” that is “not going to be a light switch.”
“It’s going to be depending where you are in the country, the nature of the outbreak that you have already experienced, and the threat of an outbreak that you may not have experienced,” Fauci said, before adding that it won’t be a “one size fits all” scenario due to how the severity of the outbreak differs throughout parts of the country.
Asked again when he thinks the country can begin taking steps toward reopening, Fauci said that he believes “it could probably start, at least in some ways, maybe next month.”
However, Fauci argued that it’s difficult to make predictions due to how “they always get thrown back at you if it doesn’t happen” but that he hopes there are signs by the end of April that show there are elements that can be “safely and cautiously” pulled back on.
“We are hoping that, at the end of the month, we could look around and say, OK, is there any element here that we can safely and cautiously start pulling back on? If so, do it,” Fauci said. “If not, then just continue to hunker down. And that’s what, at least for me standpoint of the public health aspect, that we look at.”
Fauci added that other decisions will have to be made by the President and governors about what they will do with the information they receive.
“The only thing I and my colleagues in public health and medicine can do is to give a projection of the kinds of things that may or may not happen when you make these steps,” Fauci said.
Watch Fauci’s remarks below:
Fauci: "We are hoping by the end of the month we can look around and say, OK, is there any element here that we can safely and cautiously start pulling back on?" pic.twitter.com/EA40viyPoY
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) April 12, 2020