Dr. Fauci Says These Places Across the U.S. Need to Shut Down ASAP
America's top epidemiologist says closing these locations is critical in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Many states across the country have been taking measures to pause or roll back on their reopening plans, but Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), says there's one place that should be closed across the country: bars. "We need to really take seriously the issue of wearing masks all the time and not congregating in bars," Fauci said in a new interview with InStyle. "I think we can stop that by just closing [bars] because they are certainly an important mechanism of this spread."
During her candid interview with Fauci for the magazine, CBS Evening News anchor Norah O'Donnell flatly asked the NIAID director: "How can we do better?" Fauci explained that first, we need to "learn the lesson" of what has led to recent surges in COVID-19 that has hit many states across the nation. He then encouraged states to "pause in the opening and maybe even take a step back in our phases." He noted he didn't want to see the country return to "complete lockdown," but he did think bars should be closed.
As medical and public health experts have learned about the spread of COVID-19, there is growing acceptance that the crowded and poorly ventilated indoor environment of a bar is among the riskiest places to contract the virus. Loud music and often inebriated patrons lead to yelling and exhaling more aerosolized droplets as well as decreased inhibitions, which makes bars particularly dangerous.
During a Tuesday morning appearance on Today, Admiral Brett Giroir, the White House's coronavirus testing czar, made a similar point about the danger of bars. "I want everybody to understand you've got to physically distance, wear your mask, avoid bars, close bars in those hot areas, reduce capacity," Giroir said.
Multiple hard-hit states have already taken the measure of closing bars, like California, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida.
In his InStyle interview, Fauci also reminded Americans of the specific things we can all do to abate the outbreak of COVID-19. "Keep distances, wash hands, avoid crowds, wear a mask," he said. "I think if we diligently do those things, we can turn this around." And for more advice from Fauci, check out This Is How Dr. Fauci Says We Can Push the "Reset Button" on Coronavirus.