Story at a glance

  • “We have found at the NIH, that it is much much better to just question people when they come in and save the time, because the temperatures are notoriously inaccurate, many times,” Fauci said last week.
  • The nation’s top infectious disease expert went on to say the White House done away with temperature checks altogether.
  • Not everyone who has the coronavirus will experience fever as a symptom, and a significant portion of people who become infected with the virus have mild or no symptoms at all.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way of life for most Americans as health precautions such as masks and social distancing have become the norm in public spaces. 

Businesses, schools and other establishments have also embraced the use of infrared thermometers for temperature checks on patrons, students and teachers as part of the safety protocol for reopening. 


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But public health experts are throwing cold water on the utility of temperature checks. 

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said recently that temperature checks are a pretty inaccurate method to rely on to screen people for the coronavirus.

“We have found at the [National Institutes of Health], that it is much much better to just question people when they come in and save the time, because the temperatures are notoriously inaccurate, many times,” Fauci said last week during a Facebook Live event with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. 

The nation’s top infectious disease expert went on to say the White House has done away with temperature checks altogether. 

He explained how hot summer weather causes inaccurate readings. 

“I went to the White House the other day. My temp was like 103 until I took it in the air-conditioned car, and then it was 97.4. When I tried to get into another facility, my temperature was 93, which means I probably should’ve been on a respirator.  So I think we’ve just got to abandon that, be prudent, ask questions, and do it that way,” Fauci said. 

It’s also worth noting that not everyone who has the coronavirus will experience fever as a symptom and a significant portion of people who become infected with the virus have mild or no symptoms at all. 

Published on Aug 19, 2020