Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care — Presented by Indivior — CDC panel approves boosters for some, but not based on jobs Fauci: 'Worst time' for a government shutdown is in middle of pandemic The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Government shutdown fears increase as leaders dig in MORE, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Sunday that morale was considered when administration officials decided to put in place a travel advisory rather than enforce a quarantine in the New York region, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.
Fauci said the decision to issue a domestic travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut was made after “intensive discussions” including the president.
The original proposal considered was an “enforceable quarantine,” he said.
“After discussion with the president, we made it clear and he agreed it would be much better to do what’s called a 'strong advisory,' ” Fauci said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
The reason, he said, was to avoid getting to the point where “you're enforcing things that would create a bigger difficulty, morale and otherwise,” when an advisory can likely accomplish the same goal.
The goal of the travel advisory is to limit all nonessential travel.
“Just hold off,” Fauci said.
New York has 56 percent of all new infections, he added.
“[There’s] terrible suffering from people in New York, which I myself feel personally as a New Yorker,” Fauci added.
Asked about the possibility of loosening restrictions and when that may happen, Fauci said “obviously not” now in New York and other areas with a high number of cases.
“New York is doing this, New Orleans is doing this,” Fauci said, gesturing an uphill spike with his hand.
When the daily number of cases start flattening or turning down, “then you can start doing modification of” restrictions, he said.
“You can try and influence the timetable, but ultimately it's what the virus does,” Fauci said. “When I start seeing this happen, then I’ll come back on the show and tell you I think we're at the [point] we can start pulling back now.”