Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, chatted with NBA MVP and Golden State Warriors player Steph Curry on Instagram Live Thursday afternoon, fielding a number of questions regarding COVID-19’s spread and efforts to combat the pandemic.
When Curry asked what it means to recover from the coronavirus and whether you can contract it a second time, Fauci acknowledged that the question is when it’s safe to go out and not infect others.
In medical terms, Fauci mentioned that the “general rule” is to have two cultures, 24 hours apart, that test negative, but said that as more people get infected that likely is not going to be feasible.
Fauci went on to say that’s why the administration will have to “set some guidelines up” for the days following the diminution of symptoms, but that it’s “not there yet” due to the unknowns of how far out we could be shedding the virus.
On the question of being infected a second time, Fauci said that despite the administration’s lack of specific testing to determine the possibility, he reassured that “chances are overwhelming” that those who recover from the virus won’t get reinfected.
However, Fauci said that although the seasonal flu and common cold viruses tend to do better in cold weather and decrease during warmer weather, we shouldn’t assume that the coronavirus acts similarly.
“We don’t know whether that’s going to happen with this virus. This is the first time we’ve ever dealt with this virus,” Fauci said. “So it’s not an unreasonable assumption to think that it’s going to go down, but you don’t want to count on it.”
Fauci also highlighted the importance of social distancing, saying that restrictions being lifted in the future is “not an all or none process” and that until the outbreak is over, everyone should continue practicing distance and washing hands frequently in order to return to “somewhat of a normal life.”
“There’s a big difference between the extreme of locking a city down, opening it up a bit, but being more careful than you normally would be,” Fauci said. “And I think there are places in the country now where you can look at carefully and say maybe you want to pull back a little bit on restrictions so as long as you don’t let it rip and say ‘I don’t care what happens.’”
Curry’s interview with Fauci comes a day after the infectious disease expert warned during a White House briefing that the coronavirus “very well might” become a seasonal cycle and that “it will be inevitable that we need to be prepared that we will get a cycle around,” referring to the administration’s efforts in developing a vaccine as quickly as possible so that it will be available “for that next cycle.”
Below is a screenshot of Fauci and Curry’s chat on Instagram Live:
Shortly after Fauci’s remarks aired, President Trump told governors in a letter Thursday afternoon that his administration is coming up with new guidelines to determine counties as high-risk, medium-risk or low-risk regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
Read Trump’s letter below: