Dr. Anthony Fauci Says Some States Should Consider A Second Shutdown
Dr. Anthony Fauci is now saying that states with the most severe coronavirus cases and hospitalizations should consider a second shutdown, according to a report by CNN.
"I think any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
For some states, cases are reaching daily record highs and hospital ICUs are reaching full capacity. The surge in cases has caused many states to halt their reopening plans in order to take control of the spread of the virus again.
Other health experts have echoed Dr. Fauci’s remarks.
"If you're not doing the...things we've talked about in the past to get this outbreak under control, starting with test and trace...your only option is to shut down," said Dr. Ali Khan, former director of the CDC's public health preparedness office.
Some medical professionals don’t advocate for shutting down again, though, but they are encouraging the use of other protective measures, like wearing a face mask.
Dr. LouAnn Woodward encourages mask-wearing, but said, "We cannot shelter in place through the duration of this pandemic.”
However, Fauci did state that even small steps like controlling large crowds, wearing masks, and physical distancing would still help slow the spread.
"We've got to just tighten things up, close the bars, indoor restaurants...or make it so there's very good seating, make sure people wear masks, make sure they don't congregate in crowds, make sure they keep the distance," Fauci said.
This week, the US reported more than 3 million cases of coronavirus. At least 33 states have seen an increase in their average daily number of cases within the last week.
When states first began reopening, the requirement to begin phase one was that the test-positive rate for the state did not exceed 20 percent. To begin even more reopening plans, that number needed to be below 10 percent.
Now, some states are reporting test-positive rates that exceed even the phase one requirement. In Arizona, they have a reported rate of 28 percent, similar to a 26 percent rate in Texas.
In Texas’ Brooks Country, people who have tested positive for COVID-19 can now be arrested for appearing in public without being cleared by the state’s health services department. The only exemption is if they are seeking medical attention.
On top of a surge of cases,18.1 million Americans are still on unemployment claims, and some economists say that more than 3 million Americans have lost jobs that may not come back any time soon.
A question that also remains unanswered is how, and if, to reopen schools in the fall.
"If you keep children out of school, the unintended negative ripple effect of consequences can be profound with regard to, what do the parents do, that they then stay off of work to take care of their children?" Fauci said.
Fauci also emphasized the need for grade schools to take a different approach to reopening than colleges and universities.
"So, the broad approach would be obviously ... paying attention to the safety of the children, which is always paramount, but within the context of doing whatever you can to safeguard the health and the welfare of the children, we should try to get the schools open," he said.
President Trump has advocated strongly for reopening schools, saying that he would be putting pressure on governors and other officials to do so. He even expressed interest in cutting funding to schools that decide not to reopen.
One of the biggest issues when faced with reopening schools is that there is still little known about the virus’ effect on children.
Read the full report here.