Dr. Fauci Says These Are the Two Places He Won't Go Right Now
In a recent interview, Fauci warns people not to visit these two dangerous spots.
This week the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed four million, marking a troubling milestone in the pandemic. While states encourage citizens to wear masks and social distance in an attempt to slow the spread, some are going further by closing certain gathering areas like bars and gyms. Anthony Fauci, MD, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has echoed these safety measures while also cautioning people to avoid two other places as well.
On July 24, Fauci told MarketWatch that he won't go to a restaurant or fly on a plane. For the former, he said he doesn't want to risk dining out, especially at indoor establishments: "If you're going to go to a restaurant, try as best as you can to have outdoor seating that is properly spaced between the tables."
As for traveling, it's still very dangerous because you could be unknowingly infecting others, especially if you are flying to different regions of the U.S. And even if airlines implement health procedures like temperature checks, that's still not an effective method when many people with COVID-19 are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic.
"I'm not sure taking temperatures is all it's cracked up to be, because there are a lot of false negatives and false positives," Fauci said. "It's best to just question people: 'Do you have any symptoms? Have you been near someone who is infected?' The time spent asking a couple of simple questions is probably more effective than just taking temperatures, to be honest with you."
When it comes to his personal well-being, Fauci said he would not be flying anywhere soon because he is in a high-risk category. "I don't like to admit it, but I'm 79 years old," he explains, pointing to studies that show how seniors tend to have the most severe coronavirus cases. In fact, recent research published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that patients aged 80 years or older were 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19.
The epidemiologist also attributes his place in the medical field as a reason why he wouldn't willingly put himself in harm's way. When your job is to contain a pandemic, the last thing you'd want to do is contribute to its deadly spread.
"I spend half a day in my office trying to develop a vaccine and drugs for COVID-19, and that's really what I need to do," Fauci said. "I don't fancy seeing myself getting infected, which is a risk when you're getting on a plane, particularly with the amount of infection that's going on right now." And for more ways you can protect yourself, check out these 13 Tips From Dr. Fauci on How You Can Avoid Coronavirus.