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Dr. Fauci says every state should be sheltering in place

Published Apr 3rd, 2020 2:28PM EDT
coronavirus update
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  • Dr. Anthony Fauci is frustrated that stay-at-home orders haven’t been issued across every state in the US. 
  • Fauci, one of the country’s top infectious disease experts and a member of the White House task force working on the coronavirus outbreak, says everyone should be staying home if at all possible. 
  • Many states have refused to issue such mandates, and many of the ones that have are not enforcing them in any meaningful way. 
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Dr. Anthony Fauci — the one (and perhaps only) person we should all be listening to during most White House press briefings — thinks that the nation’s response to coronavirus has been inadequate, and that right now every single state should be issuing a shelter-in-place order. As The Hill reports, Fauci, the country’s preeminent pandemic expert, told CNN that he can’t fathom why such orders haven’t already been rolled out.

Many states across the country have already taken steps to push their residents to stay at home as much as possible. Some have issued “shelter-in-place” orders, mandating that people remain in their homes unless they are traveling for food or medicine, or have a job that is considered essential. Unfortunately, not all states are actually enforcing these new rules.

Several states have decided to use different language for their shelter-in-place orders, such as “safer at home,” though the idea is the same. Where many states fall short is in actually applying their mandates and getting people to follow the temporary restrictions.

As someone who lives in a state that has recently implemented a “safer at home” initiative I can tell you that not much has changed. Almost everyone is still going to their jobs every day, with no restrictions, and employers are apparently allowed to decide whether their own businesses are essential. As you might expect, just about every single one of them believes they should remain up and running.

Dr. Fauci is fed up with the lazy approach the country is taking to tackling the virus threat, and made his feelings abundantly clear while speaking with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“I don’t understand why that’s not happening,” Fauci responded to a question about why states aren’t getting people to stay home. “If you look at what’s going on in this country, I just don’t understand why we’re not doing that. We really should be.”

Sadly, much of the decisionmaking surrounding the coronavirus lockdowns and stay-at-home orders has been seen as politically motivated. Many Republican lawmakers have argued that the country should remain “open for business” and that the damage the shutdowns will do to the economy outweighs the benefits of keeping people in their homes and saving an untold number of lives.

It’s a gross, messy argument and it comes at a time where states are seeing tens of thousands of critically ill patients and thousands of deaths. At this point, the top priority should be saving lives, and Dr. Fauci appears to agree with that sentiment.

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