The nation's leading infectious disease expert, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFDA mulling to allow 'mix-and-match' COVID-19 vaccine booster shots: report The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - Remembrances flow in after Powell's death The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Build Back Better items on chopping block MORE, said Friday that he is "totally in favor" of reopening the country if it is done appropriately and cautiously.
In an interview with CNBC, Fauci said the nation "can't stay locked down," adding that "irreparable damage" and "unintended consequences" could ensue if lockdowns are prolonged, including risks to public health.
"It is for that reason why the guidelines are being put forth so that the states and the cities can start to reenter and reopen," he said.
Fauci said he does have some concerns if states or local communities are skipping some benchmarks in the recommended guidelines for reopening.
He said as states reopen people should take precautions such as wearing masks, social distancing and staying away from crowds.
But he professed support for ending lockdowns that have closed businesses and kept people from working, leading to soaring unemployment.
"I don't want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go," he said, adding that the nation "had to do that" during the virus outbreak's peak.
He said that in general, he thinks that most people in the country are reopening in a "prudent way."
"Now is the time, depending upon where you are or what your situation is, is to begin seriously looking at reopening the economy — reopening the country — to try to get back to some degree of normal. I'm totally in favor of that if done in the proper way and appropriate setting," Fauci said.