Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, top infectious disease expert in the U.S. intends to warn the Senate on Tuesday against the government’s plans of opening the country as a step towards reviving the economy. He is planning to put forward his reservations and warnings to Senate that this decision might only lead to ‘needless suffering and death’ in the country which is struggling with constant spikes in positive coronavirus cases. Dr. Fauci is at the center of Trump’s administration response team against the Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci is to speak in a high profile virtual Senate hearing on Tuesday before the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Dr. Fauci has emerged as a very important and respected voice against the country’s fight against COVID-19 infection. This will be his first independent public appearance after the pandemic was declared a national emergency by President Donald Trump in March. President Trump is not going to be by the side of Dr. Fauci at this hearing.
Taking this opportunity of speaking in a high profile hearing, Dr. Fauci is reportedly intending to put forward his concerns regarding the lifting of lockdown and opening nation as a ‘premature’ decision. With the constant uprise in positive cases in U.S., this decision is only going to negatively impact the country’s efforts of combating the COVID-19 spread.
In an email to New York Times late Monday night, Dr. Fauci laid out his planned speech and talking points before the Senate.
Dr. Fauci wrote in the email, “The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely.” He further elaborated, “If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: ‘Open America Again’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal.”
The Trump administration is planning to open the country in a three phase plan, Opening Up America Again. This White House plan lays down the roadmap and guidelines for state officials that are considering to reopen their state economies. These guidelines include the recommendations for States to have “downward trajectory of positive cases” or a “downward trajectory of documented cases” over a period of two weeks. This would be done while surveillance and contact tracing of positive cases particularly in the nursing homes, which are one of the most vulnerable places.
Reports indicate that many states are reopening without meeting these guidelines in a desperate attempt to revamp their economies. Dr. Fauci, who himself is in a ‘modified quarantine’ post mild exposure to a suspected group of infected cases, is worried about this ‘non-medical’ basis of opening the country to have drastic results.