Dr. Fauci Has a New Warning for These 2 States

The top infectious disease expert is concerned by what's going on in these places in particular.

The continued rollout of vaccines across the United States has created a sense of optimism that the pandemic could soon be behind us. But the end of a weeks-long national decline in COVID cases has officials worried that people may be rushing back to normalcy a bit too quickly. This includes White House chief COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, who issued a new warning to two states in particular during a Mar. 4 appearance on MSNBC. Read on to see which states he's concerned about, and for more on what's happening with the virus near you, check out This Is How High the COVID Risk Level Is in Your State, Data Shows.

Fauci said officials in Texas and Mississippi were wrong to remove mask mandates.

The disposal of surgical mask in trash
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While being interviewed on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Mar. 4, Fauci was asked by host Joe Scarborough about his reaction to the recent decisions by the governors of Texas and Mississippi to remove statewide mask mandates and restrictions on businesses. "My strong advice to them would be to continue to implement the public health measures," he said. "Now is not the time to pull back." And for some guideline changes that could be happening soon, check out The CDC Is About to Announce This Major COVID Guideline Change.

Fauci says that we've seen how disastrous lifting restrictions too soon can be.

Side view of woman puts on protective face mask outdoor.
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Fauci went on to point out that the recent trend in cases was evidence that more time was needed to get more people vaccinated against the virus, saying, "You saw the curve of the infections per day coming down, but over the last seven days or so we've reached a bit of a plateau where the deflection of the curve isn't going straight down the way it was."

But the chief White House medical adviser also warned that we've already seen the disastrous effects that loosening public health restrictions at the wrong time can have. "That's a bad sign, we've seen that before," Fauci said referencing the plateau. "We've seen that last summer when we were trying to so-called 'open up the economy and open up the country,' and then we had that really big surge that we don't want to repeat now. We were going in the right direction. Now's the time to keep the foot on the accelerator and not pull off because the thing that we don't want is yet again another surge." And for more on when that could happen, check out This Is When We Can Expect the Next COVID Surge, Experts Say.

He recommended that citizens of Texas and Mississippi continue to follow safety guidelines.

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Fauci advised that the citizens of Texas and Mississippi should take matters into their own hands and stick to following basic guidelines for the time being, even if their governors are pulling back on restrictions. "I would advise the people of Texas and Mississippi to just abide by the public health measures that we talk about all the time: Uniform wearing of masks, physical distancing, avoiding congregate settings, particularly indoors, washing your hands frequently," he said. "We just have to keep doing that because we know it works." And for more on proper PPE guidance, If You See This on Your Mask, the FDA Says Toss It Immediately.

Popular stores in the two states have already announced they won't drop mask rules.

Young woman wearing protective mask on her face and reading shopping list on mobile phone in grocery store during virus pandemic.
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While the mask mandates may be coming down on the state level in Texas and Mississippi, businesses still have the right to require their customers to cover their faces. In response to news of the changes, major companies began announcing that they would continue to enforce mask wearing for their employees and patrons, including Target, Kroger, Walgreens, CVS, Best Buy, Macy's, Kohl's, and Starbucks.

"We require guests to wear masks or face coverings in all of our stores, except for guests with underlying medical conditions and young children," Target wrote in guidelines that were updated on March 2. "Those who have been vaccinated for coronavirus are still required to wear a mask and follow all social distancing guidelines." And for more on when we may actually be able to put coronavirus behind us, check out This Is When the COVID Pandemic Will Be Completely Over, Experts Say.

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Zachary Mack
Zachary covers beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He's the owner of Alphabet City Beer Co. in New York City and is a Certified Cicerone. Read more
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