Story at a glance

  • “When you’re dealing with community spread, and you have the kind of congregate setting where people get together, particularly without masks, you’re really asking for trouble,” Anthony Fauci told ABC’s “Good Morning America” Monday.
  • Fauci emphasized that he’s not calling for universal shut downs but rather for the importance of common sense public health measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing.
  • Meanwhile, Fauci said the U.S. is “not in a good place” as fall and winter approach and a number of states are reporting upticks in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations.

The nation’s top infectious diseases expert on Monday called Florida’s decision to reopen bars and restaurants last week “very concerning” as the U.S. is averaging about 40,000 new coronavirus cases per day. 

“Well that is very concerning to me, I mean, we have always said that, myself and Dr. Deborah Birx, who is the coordinator of the task force, that that is something we really need to be careful about,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said during an interview Monday with ABC’s “Good Morning America.” 


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“When you’re dealing with community spread, and you have the kind of congregate setting where people get together, particularly without masks, you’re really asking for trouble. Now’s the time actually to double down a bit, and I don’t mean close.” 

During a press conference Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced his state was lifting all coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and bars immediately. The state is also prohibiting local governments from shutting down businesses or implementing restrictions without economic or health justifications for doing so. 

“We’re prepared if we see an increase [in coronavirus cases],” DeSantis said last week. “We’re not closing anything moving forward. We have the tools in place.” 

Fauci emphasized that he’s not calling for universal shut downs, but the importance of common sense public health measures such as mask-wearing and social distancing. 

“We want to do everything we possibly can to avoid an absolute shut down, in other words, get the cases under control by the common sense types of things we’ve been talking about all along, those public health measures,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Fauci said the U.S. is “not in a good place” as fall and winter approach and a number of states are reporting upticks in coronavirus infections and hospitalizations. The White House coronavirus adviser said last month the U.S. needed to get to about 10,000 cases per day to get a hold on the virus before the flu season kicks off. 

The U.S. continues to lead the world in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths, recording more than 7.1 million infections and more than 204,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. 


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Published on Sep 28, 2020