Even though COVID-19 cases are increasing across the country, Dr. Anthony Fauci is not ready to support a national lockdown.
In an interview with CBS News, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said the pandemic would have to get “really, really bad” before he could advise that drastic change.
Fauci, who is on President Trump’s coronavirus task force, said the country is “fatigued with restrictions.”
“So 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 said. “So instead of having an opposition: Open up the economy [to] 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.”
The doctor also expressed concern about the uptick in cases being reported in many states across the U.S.
While the Midwest is continuing to see a surge in positive diagnoses, Idaho, Illinois, North Carolina, and Wyoming also saw their highest daily number of cases on October 16.
Fauci has also continued to stress the importance of maintaining safety protocols like mask-wearing, social distancing, and avoiding large gatherings to help slow the spread of the novel virus.
He recently downplayed the effectiveness of herd immunity as a way to eradicate the virus. Herd immunity is the notion that if a large enough number of individuals contract COVID-19, the disease will stop spreading.