Fauci Privately Warns Trump Admin Against Reversing Social Distancing Rules

President Donald Trump announces that he is declaring a national emergency during a news conference with National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci and other members of his coronavir... President Donald Trump announces that he is declaring a national emergency during a news conference with National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci and other members of his coronavirus task force at the White House on March 13, 2020. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
|
March 23, 2020 4:15 p.m.
EDITORS' NOTE: TPM is making our COVID-19 coverage free to all readers during this national health crisis. If you’d like to support TPM's reporters, editors and staff, the best way to do so is to become a member.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institute Of Allergy And Infectious Diseases director at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has reportedly been trying to push back against the possibility of the Trump administration lifting its social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Washington Post reported on Monday that Fauci and other public health experts have been privately emphasizing to those in President Donald Trump’s orbit, including GOP lawmakers, the importance of the White House’s 15-day social distancing rule in the battle against the coronavirus.

Trump, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and several Republicans have reportedly become concerned that social distancing will hurt the economy, leading them to argue that such measures ought to be rolled back. Trump’s fear stems from the fact that a tanking economy would imperil his reelection prospects, according to the Post.

Echoing Trump’s declaration that “the cure can’t be worse than the disease,” White House Director of the National Economic Council Larry Kudlow said on Monday that “we’re going to have to make difficult trade-offs” at the end of the 15-day period.

Unnamed sources told the Post that Fauci and his colleagues have warned the administration that health care workers’ vigorous response to the outbreak would be put in jeopardy if the social distancing guidelines were to be lifted once the period ends.

On Monday morning, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told NBC News’ “Today Show” host Savannah Guthrie that “we really, really need everyone to stay at home” to avoid further spread of the coronavirus.

“I want America to understand this week, it’s going to get bad,” he said.

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30