Fauci Offers ‘Cautious Optimism’ On Coronavirus Curve, But Ending Lockdowns ‘Is Not Going to be a Light Switch’


Dr. Anthony Fauci said recent coronavirus data gave him a glimpse of “cautious optimism” on Sunday, even as he urged the country to not abandon social distancing guidelines by re-opening all at once.

As Fauci spoke to CNN’s Jake Tapper about the record level of Covid-19 casualties reported on Friday, he acknowledged his previous expectations that the New York metropolitan area was going to have “a really bad week.” However, he also said the curve was “flattened” and that “the outbreak is starting to level off.”

“It’s cautious optimism that we’re seeing that decrease,” Fauci said. “If you look at the patterns of curves in other countries. Once we turn that corner, hopefully we’ll see a sharp decline and we’ll start thinking about how we can keep it that way and prevent it from resurging, when you start to think about a gradual re-entry of some sort of normality.”

After Fauci warned against a premature return to normalcy, Tapper noted that Fauci told him in a previous interview that social distancing guidelines shouldn’t be rolled back until the U.S. can conduct “real-time” coronavirus tests to immediately identify people who have the virus. Asked when the U.S. will have that kind of testing capacity, Fauci answered that it was a “reality” that some people will contract the virus once lockdowns are lifted, but the most important thing is for state and federal governments to be able to contain those who have it.

“Based on what you know right now, when do you think the country will be ready to take some of these steps to reopen based on the availability of testing?” Tapper asked.

“That’s really what I was inferring when I said a rolling re-entry,” Fauci answered. “It is not going to be a light switch that we say ‘Okay, it is now June, July, or whatever, click, the light switch goes back on.’ It’s going to be depending where you are in the country, the nature of the outbreak that you already experienced, and the threat of an outbreak that you may not have experienced. It’s having to look at the situation in different parts of the country.”

Watch above, via CNN.

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