comScore Fauci: Nothing in Current Coronavirus Data Causes Optimism

Dr. Fauci Says That Nothing in Current Coronavirus Data Causes Optimism As Trump Pushes to Reopen Country

White House Coronavirus Task Force infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that nothing in the current data is cause for “optimism” even as President Donald Trump pushes to reopen the economy as early as next week.

In an interview on WMAL’s Mornings on the Mall radio program Tuesday morning, Dr. Fauci did his best not to contradict Trump, and pushed back on the idea that there is tension between the two, but Fauci’s assessment of the pandemic did not seem to be in line with Trump’s push to ease precautions beginning as early as next week.

Early in the interview, Fauci said that the timeline for easing social distancing is “under very intense discussion,” and that Trump is  trying to “balance the public health issues with the fact that this is having an enormous impact on the economy of the country.”

Fauci told hosts Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese that “I don’t consider the balancing act” between the economy and the pandemic, “I just give public health advice completely clean, unconnected with anything else.”

Fauci went on to strongly hint that whatever the timeline is, next week is probably not going to be his recommendation.

Coglianese asked Fauci “As you’re looking at all of this, what are the points of optimism that you are finding?”

Dr. Fauci said that “The optimism is the strength of the American people” to follow social distancing guidelines to mitigate the disease’s spread.

Coglianese said “I share that with you the emotional side of this, but is there anything in the data that makes you hopeful?”

“Well, you know the data is that people are hunkering down, we don’t have quantitative data now to show what the impact is,” Dr. Fauci said. “But you wouldn’t expect that yet. Because you’re having two dynamic things going on at the same time, you’re having the natural course of an infection, if left to its own devices, would do what it did early on in China and now in Italy.”

“That’s countered by the kind of things we are doing with mitigation,” Fauci continued. “You can’t quantitate it yet, you have to wait a while and if you see the curve change, then you know that we’re having an impact. Frankly as a public health person I’m certain that we’re having an impact right now, but we won’t be able to accurately quantitate it for a little bit.”

One week ago today, Fauci said that “It probably would be several weeks or maybe longer before we know whether we had an effect,” which means any decision to change guidance next week would be made without any public health data to support it.

Listen above via WMAL.

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