Dr. Fauci Addresses Congress, Warns Against Reopening Too Soon

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head infectious diseases expert in the US, is currently self-isolating. Since he works in the White House, he’s been exposed to personnel like Stephanie Miller, who recently tested positive for COVID-19. However, that hasn’t stopped Fauci from appearing via teleconference before Congress.

Fauci
ABC News

During his appearance before Congress Tuesday, Fauci told Congress that the risks of reopening state economies too soon is real. He warned of reopening efforts bringing about small spikes in the virus. Those spikes, in turn, could bring about major outbreaks.

Not all members of Congress were moved by Fauci’s words. Senator Rand Paul, for instance, clashed with Fauci over his claims regarding the virus.

Fauci Issues Warning Based on Science

Dr. Fauci stated to Congress that his warnings were based entirely on science and observation of the virus. He told senators that he was concerned about states moving too quickly to reopen. The White House outlined its recommendations for a reopening timeline in late April. That timeline included various benchmarks, or “check points,” that the states should show before relaxing guidelines.

“What I’ve expressed then and again is my concern that if some areas, cities, states, what have you, jump over those various check points and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks,” Fauci told Senators.

In Dr. Fauci’s view, a vaccine is the most surefire way to make sure the virus is no longer a threat. Robust testing and contact tracing and lockdowns are ways to combat the virus. However, a vaccine is the only way to truly “beat” an infectious and stealthy disease. While the doctor said he is optimistic about a vaccine, one likely won’t be ready in time for Fall.

Rand Paul Clashes With Fauci

Senator Rand Paul clashed with Fauci during his presentation. The senator expressed reservations about the slow timetable promoted by the doctor. Paul went on to state that he believes that Fauci should not be the “end all” in regards to the timing of reopening.

Fauci responded to the senator’s words, stating he “never claimed to be the end-all.” Fauci went on to clarify that his views were strictly based on scientific observation. He reiterated that, while he was a scientist and a doctor, he was not an economist. As such, he could only make recommendations based on what he saw as scientific and medically sound advice.