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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious-disease expert, on Thursday said the country had “no appetite” for lockdowns but that wearing masks and social distancing could be enough to control the coronavirus outbreak.
Fauci, who serves on the White House coronavirus task force, made the comments the day after Michael Osterholm, a COVID-19 advisor to President-elect Joe Biden, recommended a national lockdown that could last between four to six weeks in a bid to reduce the country’s infections.
Biden himself has not advocated for a lockdown, but has called for a stronger strategy to address the health crisis. He has also repeatedly said that he will “listen to the scientists” when working on public-health policy.
There is no indication that Fauci was responding directly to Osterholm’s suggestion of a lockdown, but said on “Good Morning America” on Thursday that there was “no appetite for locking down” among Americans.
He did not cite evidence for this belief, though there have been anti-lockdown protests across the country since the pandemic began.
Fauci added that “I believe that we can do it without a lockdown. I really do.”
“The best opposite strategy to locking down is to intensify the public-health measures short of locking down,” he said. “So if you can do that well, you don’t have to take that step that people are trying to avoid, which has so many implications both psychologically and economically. We’d like not to do that.”
He said that the US would not need to lock down if people followed other public-health advice, like wearing masks and social distancing.
“What we need to do is what we’ve been talking about for some time now, but really doubling down on it,” he said.
“There are certain fundamental, baseline things that you can do: universal and uniform wearing of masks; avoiding crowded, congregate situations; keeping physical distance.”
“If we could just hang in there, do the public-health measures that we’re talking about, we’re going to get this under control, I promise you,” he added.
Watch the interview here:
“What we need to do is what we’ve been talking about for some time now, but really doubling down on it,” Dr. Fauci tells @GMA as COVID cases soar.
“Universal and uniform wearing of masks; avoiding crowded, congregate situations; keeping physical distant.” https://t.co/nCFBf7kv2C pic.twitter.com/Creg6E0Ci1
— ABC News (@ABC) November 12, 2020
While many countries have used weeks-long, localized or national lockdowns to try and control their outbreaks, the US has largely avoided that strategy, with President Donald Trump criticizing countries who have done them.
The other measures for controlling the virus that Fauci endorsed are not being enforced either: Many US states don’t have mask mandates, and the restrictions on social gatherings vary across states.
Biden has already created a coronavirus task force, which includes experts who have served under previous administrations during other infectious-disease outbreaks.
Biden has also encouraged people to wear masks throughout the year.
The US is the worst-hit country in the pandemic, having recorded the highest number of cases and deaths in the …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics