Dr. Fauci: ‘I Can’t Guarantee’ It Will Be Safe to Physically Vote at the Polls in November
In an Easter Sunday appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Dr. Anthony Fauci told host Jake Tapper that he had doubts that the coronavirus pandemic would be sufficiently resolved by the elections this November for voters to be able to safely vote in person at the polls.
Earlier in the interview, Fauci had admitted to Tapper that “obviously” they “could have saved lives” if social distancing and other mitigation measures had been implemented when he first recommended them in February.
Tapper then followed up, asking Fauci what he expected for the upcoming November elections.
Elected representatives in several states, as well as Congress, have suggested that significantly expanding absentee voting — or even switching to an election conducted entirely by mail — may be necessary this year to avoid an uptick in coronavirus transmissions between voters crowded together in long lines at polling locations.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the idea of completely switching to mail ballots, claiming it would encourage fraud, as he did in this April 8th tweet:
Absentee Ballots are a great way to vote for the many senior citizens, military, and others who can’t get to the polls on Election Day. These ballots are very different from 100% Mail-In Voting, which is “RIPE for FRAUD,” and shouldn’t be allowed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2020
“Do you think it will be safe in November for voters to physically go to vote at the polls?” asked Tapper.
“I hope so, Jake,” replied Fauci. “I can’t guarantee it.”
Fauci continued, explaining that if the country took “a good, measured way” of lessening restrictions, then hopefully November’s election would be able to be managed normally.
“However, and I don’t want to be the pessimistic person,” he cautioned, “there is always the possibility, as we get into next fall and the beginning of early winter, that we could see a rebound.”
Fauci did express hope that the lessons they were learning as they continued to fight this pandemic, improved testing capability, effective drug treatments and other countermeasures, would help contain the pandemic and prevent a rebound.
“So, number one, I hope we don’t have a rebound that would make this very difficult as we get into November. But if we do, and there certainly is a possibility, I’m a realist, it certainly is a possibility, hopefully we’ll be able to respond to that rebound in a much more effective way than what we’ve seen now in January, February, March.”
Watch the video above, via CNN.
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