- Despite a surge in new coronavirus cases, Dr. Fauci doesn’t believe we need a nationwide lockdown just yet.
- While the number of coronavirus cases jumped by 30% over the last two weeks, the death rate has remained steady.
- Fauci said the coronavirus pandemic would have to get much worse for him to recommend a nationwide shutdown.
The U.S. is currently in the midst of a huge coronavirus surge the likes of which we haven’t seen since July. Over the past few days, several states have reported a record-breaking number of new coronavirus infections. What’s more, the cumulative number of coronavirus cases across the country has shot up by 30% over the last two weeks alone.
Unfortunately, the current situation is likely to get worse before it gets better due to colder weather and the arrival of flu season. With indoor gatherings accounting for a disproportionate number of coronavirus cases, experts are anticipating an even greater surge in new infections once people start staying inside for longer periods of time come November and December.
To this point, Michael Osterholm, the director at the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, recently said that the next 6 to 12 weeks “are going to be the darkest of the entire pandemic.”
In light of all this, it’s only natural to wonder if the U.S. might eventually institute a nationwide lockdown. Tackling this question, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently said during an interview with CBS that the coronavirus situation in the U.S. would have to get “really, really bad” in order for him to recommend a nationwide lockdown.
Fauci specifically said that he’d rather see people adopt coronavirus safety measures en masse as opposed to shutting down the economy entirely.
“We want to use public health measures not to get in the way of opening the economy, but to being a safe gateway to opening the economy,” Fauci explained. “So instead of having an opposition, open up the economy, get jobs back, or shut down. No, put shut down away and say ‘we’re going to use public health measures to help us safely get to where we want to go.'”
Broadly speaking, the good news is that the death rate from the coronavirus has been holding steady over the past few weeks, even in the face of an increase in coronavirus cases. According to data from The New York Times, the average coronavirus death rate over the last week has been about 700. As a point of comparison, the nationwide death rate over a seven-day period was about 1,200 in early July and 2,200 back in mid-April.
Barring an unexpected rise in coronavirus related deaths, it doesn’t appear that Fauci will be advocating for a nationwide shutdown anytime soon. As noted by Fauci, the important thing is for people to take the coronavirus seriously, fight off pandemic fatigue, and adhere to mask-wearing and social distancing guidelines.
Recall, CDC director Robert Redfield recently said that the public adopting mask-wearing en masse would be more effective at combating the coronavirus than a vaccine.
“We have clear scientific evidence they work,” Redfield said recently. “This face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID19 than when I take a COVID vaccine.”