- Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a CNBC interview on Friday that extended lockdowns could cause “irreparable damage.”
- “We can’t stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences, including consequences for health,” Fauci said.
- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told the Senate earlier this week that there was a risk of “permanent damage” to the economy if states kept strict restrictions in place.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, said on Friday that extended lockdowns could cause “irreparable” harm and worse health outcomes.
“We can’t stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences, including consequences for health,” Fauci said in a CNBC interview.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the measures were necessary early on to curb the explosive spread of the coronavirus. But he supported states taking cautious steps to restore normality and lift stay-at-home orders.
“Now is the time, depending upon where you are and what your situation is, is to begin seriously looking at reopening the economy, reopening the country to try and get back to some degree of normal,” he said.
Fauci’s remarks echoed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s earlier this week. During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Mnuchin said there was a “risk of permanent damage” if states delayed reopening their economies, The New York Times reported.
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Earlier this month, Fauci said that trying to reopen the US too soon would result in “needless suffering and death” from a new wave of coronavirus infections. The virus has already killed at least 95,000 people across the country.
The number of new coronavirus infections reported in the US each day over the past week has ranged from 18,000 to 26,000, per a Times database. The Trump administration has strongly supported efforts to reopen the economy, arguing that it’s critical to send Americans back to work to mitigate the economic fallout of the pandemic.