Fauci on airport screening lines: 'We'd like to not see crowds like that'

Fauci on airport screening lines: 'We'd like to not see crowds like that'
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The head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Sunday that public health officials would “like to not see crowds like” the ones seen awaiting coronavirus screening when returning to  U.S. airports.

“We’d like to not see crowds like that,” Fauci told Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceBill Gates: Goal of eliminating emissions by 2030 'completely unrealistic' Fox News's Chris Wallace praises Biden's discipline Klobuchar: Impeachment trial 'was about not hiding history' MORE on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think people understand if you’re an American citizen, if you are a family member, that you can get back, you don’t need to rush back. But it’s understandable if when people see a travel ban, they immediately want to ... get home.”

Fauci conceded that the U.S. “probably, unfortunately, will see” similar scenes in the near future.


“Obviously whenever you have crowds, that’s the thing we’ve been talking about that we really want to implement is to have that kind of social separation, that is countermanding that and hopefully people understand that you don’t have to rush back,” he said.

Addressing his own congressional testimony that the outbreak would likely intensify, Fauci told Wallace that “things are going to get worse before they get better, but the kinds of things we’re doing now will hopefully mitigate that.”

“To think that right now everything’s going to be okay if you don’t do anything, that’s absolutely incorrect. We’ve got to really always be ahead of the curve,” Fauci added, saying that if he was forced to choose, “I’d like to be criticized for being overreactive.”

Wallace asked Fauci if the U.S. was likely to impose full lockdowns similar to those in Italy, France and Spain, either regionally or nationally.

“The idea of what’s going on in Europe is they got into that isolation phase, so what they’re doing now is playing catch up,” Fauci told Wallace. “We feel that with rather stringent mitigation and containment without necessarily complete lockdown we’d be able to prevent ourselves from getting to where unfortunately Italy is now.”

While he refused to rule out the possibility of domestic travel bans at some point in the future, Fauci said, “I can tell you that has not been seriously considered” at this point.