Dr. Fauci Says This State Set "A Good Example" for Controlling COVID

They did it using Fauci's "Fundamental Principles" for fighting the virus.

As the U.S. surpasses five million COVID-19 cases, the virus shows no sign of stopping. But in an August 7 interview, Dr. Anthony Fauci, MD, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), shared that it is possible to turn the tides—even in the worst hotspots. We simply need to look to the areas that have successfully contained the virus and follow their lead. Fauci turned the spotlight to one state that recently overcame a severe outbreak, praising it as "a good example" of how we can all move ahead: that state is Arizona.

At its peak in early July, Arizona recorded 4,753 new cases in a single day, according to a coronavirus tracker by The New York Times. Hospitals were filling quickly, and the death rate soared. Then, in mid-July, the state clamped down with new regulations.

Fauci explained that Arizona's success in controlling its outbreak was the direct result of the state following what he calls "The Fundamental Principles" of COVID containment. Using a handful of basic precautions that anyone can take to help curb the spread of coronavirus, Arizona has demonstrated that our actions do determine the course of the pandemic. Fauci outlined the strategy as follows:

  • Wear a mask outside of home
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Avoid crowds
  • Spend time outdoors whenever possible
  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Stay away from bars

"Those things work!" Fauci exclaimed in the interview. "I believe strongly, and I'll say it very clearly, we do not have to completely lock down if we do things right… I believe we can open up the economy, get the employment back, get people out of the doldrums of being locked down—if we do it prudently, carefully, and the way the guidelines say," he continued.

Today, Arizona recorded 1,054 new cases in a pattern that continues to trend downward. "This is not a victory lap," Gov. Doug Ducey said last week of the state's declining numbers. "This is not a celebration. If anything, it's evidence that the decisions and the sacrifice that Arizonans are making are working," he added. The key, Ducey stressed, is staying the course. It's a safe bet that Dr. Fauci would agree. And for more on hotspots that have stopped the surge, find out why This State Is the Pandemic's "Wonderful Success Story."

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more