Story at a glance

  • Anthony Fauci spoke to MarketWatch regarding social habits he does not recommend participating in and how the country can curb the virus spread.
  • This comes as the U.S. reached 4 million confirmed COVID-19 cases this week.

As coronavirus outbreaks continue to worsen across the country, and with the U.S. surpassing 4 million cases on Thursday, Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, is doubling down on the need for young Americans to participate in preventative public health practices. 

With younger Americans, around the age range of 18 to 40, increasingly making up new confirmed coronavirus cases, Fauci says wearing face masks while in public is imperative, even if someone is in good health. 

“You don’t realize, probably innocently, that you are inadvertently propagating the outbreak,” Fauci explained in an interview with MarketWatch Friday. “You are becoming part of the problem because, even if you get infected without any symptoms, it is likely that you are going to infect someone else.”


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Not only does this propagate the spread of COVID-19, but it can result in a vulnerable demographic suffering a severe infection. 

“Sooner or later, a vulnerable person gets infected and gets seriously ill. You should realize that it is your duty and your civic responsibility: You could be hurting someone else,” he added. 

Threading the needle between public safety and economic sustainability, many industries, such as retail, restaurants and air travel are trying to reopen with safety measures in place. Reduced seating in public spaces, curbside pickup and temperature checks are just some of the measures in place to attempt to mitigate the virus spread while gradually opening.

When asked if he would consider eating out or flying, Fauci’s answer was a resounding no. 

“The answer is ‘No’ for the following reason: I am in a risk category. I don’t like to admit it, but I’m 79 years old,” he explained, adding that “I am not going to restaurants right now.”


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Before we can go back to a pre-pandemic life — if we can at all  Fauci says the country needs consistent public health procedures rooted in a unified message, something the U.S. has failed to implement.

“There really is an inconsistency in usage and an inconsistency in message,” Fauci said, noting that wearing masks, physical distancing, avoiding crowds, washing hands and closing spaces like bars are critical to regaining control of the outbreak.

“I’m pleading with people to consider doing this consistently because...if half of people don’t do it, it kind of negates the overall purpose,” he said.

Fauci maintains that the timeline for a vaccine will likely be in early 2021, noting that despite the absence of a specific treatment and increasing testing backlogs, school in the U.S. will resume on a case-by-case basis depending on how each individual region is handling the virus. 

He says there isn’t a uniform solution as to whether or not schools and workplaces should reopen. 

“So if you open up a school safely in a region where there’s not much infection, you probably don’t even have to make any changes,” he explains. “If you’re in a place where there’s considerable infection activity, there are a lot of options to mitigate the risk that you could do a hybrid model of part online, part in-person. You could physically separate the children at school, alternate days or morning/afternoon classes. It’s going to vary depending on the risk.”

This recommendation comes as states weigh the risks of reopening schools, from elementary to universities, for the fast-approaching school year. Teachers unions have been at the forefront of this debate, with about a quarter of teachers at risk for a severe coronavirus infection. 

“How state and local officials balance the desire to reopen schools and other facilities with the need to assure the safety of students, parents, and school personnel will have significant health and economic consequences for both people and the communities they live in,” researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation say. “Assuring the safety of teachers and others at higher risk of serious illness from coronavirus is a crucial part of the calculation around reopening.”


BREAKING NEWS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

COUNTRIES LED BY WOMEN HAVE FARED BETTER AGAINST CORONAVIRUS. WHY?

MORE THAN 8.7 MILLION CORONAVIRUS CASES WENT UNDETECTED IN MARCH

EXPERTS: 90% OF CORONAVIRUS DEATHS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED

FAUCI PREDICTS ANOTHER CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN THE FALL WITH A 'VERY DIFFERENT' OUTCOME

TEXAS REPORTS SINGLE-DAY HIGH IN CORONAVIRUS DEATHS TWO WEEKS AFTER REOPENING

Published on Jul 24, 2020