Fauci Still Confident States With Spiking Cases Won't Need Second Lockdown
Cases around the country continue to multiply, but Dr. Fauci doesn't expect another lockdown.
Last week, Anthony Fauci, MD, said that despite new cases of COVID-19 rising significantly in some parts of the country, he did not foresee the need to revert to "absolute lockdown"—even for the states experiencing the most alarming resurgence of the coronavirus. "I don't think we're going to be talking about going back to lockdown," the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director said in an interview with AFP, CBS News reported on June 18. However, a lot can—and did—change in a week. Even so, Dr. Fauci stands by his statement.
In the past seven days, California has reported record high numbers in new cases per day, as have Florida, Arizona, Texas, and several other states. Hospitals are running out of beds in some states. And, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. reported 34,720 new confirmed cases on June 24—a record one-day total and the largest the country has seen since late April. Given these stats and a number of other concerning developments, several medical experts—infectious disease specialists and virologists among them—have gone on record saying that a return to lockdown may be the only viable solution in certain states where the situation appears to be beyond controlling with preventive measures like masks and social distancing alone. Dr. Fauci, however, is not in complete agreement with that assessment.
Speaking before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on June 23, CNBC reported that Fauci referred to Texas, Arizona, Florida, and other states as "a serious problem," but not one that required lockdown as a solution. "I wouldn’t necessarily say an absolute shutdown, lockdown, but if someone is going from gateway to phase one to phase two and they get into trouble in phase two, they may need to go back to phase one," he said before reiterating, "I don’t think they necessarily need to go back to lockdown."
Instead, Fauci suggests taking a localized approach, which may include some states having to put a temporary pause on moving to the next phase of their reopening plan. And a handful of states like Utah, Oregon, North Carolina, and Louisiana are doing just that. As the situation continues to develop, we'll see whether or not more drastic measures are required. But until then, "I think we're going to be talking about trying to better control those areas of the country that seem to be having a surge of cases," Fauci said, according to reporting by Barron's. And to hear another expert's opinion on what needs to be done to control the coronavirus, check out These 5 States Need to Take "Urgent Action," Harvard Doctor Says.