Fauci: US ‘can’t stay locked down’

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Dr. Anthony Fauci said he is “totally in favor” of various states reopening if done correctly.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Friday that an extended lockdown in the United States could cause “irreparable damage” to the country.

“Depending upon the dynamics of the infection in the particular state, city, region, county that you’re in, we certainly want to, in a cautious way, reopening,” he said on CNBC. “We can’t stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences, including consequences for health.”

He pointed out that because it is important to reopen and to do so safely, the government issued guidelines about how to go about ending coronavirus restrictions put in place to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed and to prevent more people from dying.

“So, we are enthusiastic about reopening,” Fauci said. “And I think we can do it in a pace that would be reasonable and that would get us back as a society from a morale standpoint, as well as the economy. I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go.”

“I’m totally in favor of that if done in the proper way in the appropriate setting,” he added.

The U.S. has had more than 1.5 million cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic began and more than 95,000 deaths. After a period of stay-at-home orders and business closures, states are now starting to reopen.