Dr. Fauci Finally Breaks Silence On Nationwide Protests In The Midst Of Pandemic
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The immunologist primarily responsible for advising the Trump administration (and by default the entire country) to shut down to ‘bend the curve’ of coronavirus says the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd are going to lead to new spikes.
During an interview on WTOP radio Friday, Fauci, a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said gathering to protest and ignoring social distancing guidelines is “a perfect setup for further spread” of the disease, telling people “if you can avoid the demonstration, if you can, fine. If you can’t, make sure you wear a mask.”
What does the immunologist think when he sees protesters in close proximity getting tear-gassed (which forces them to de-mask if they’re wearing one?
“What runs through my mind is what does every time I hear about or see the congregation of large crowds at a time and in an area — a geographic area where clearly there is active infection transmission. It’s a perfect setup for further spread of the virus in the sense of creating these blips, which might turn into some surges,” he said.
“So, I get very concerned, as my colleagues in public health, when they see these kinds of crowds. I mean, obviously, not only are they congregating physically close to each other,” Fauci added. “But often, when they start screaming and demonstrating, which is part of the process of demonstrating, I’m not criticizing that, but I’m saying what it’s going to be leading to is a likelihood that you might have situations where you would force the spread of infection, and that’s really of concern.”
Fauci wouldn’t say he believed that new spikes in coronavirus are “likely.”
“But there certainly is a risk. I would say that with confidence, that when you have the congregation of crowds, as we’ve been seeing now,” he said.
“I mean, I’m here in Washington, D.C., and you look at the TV, and you see what’s going on, particularly, and the situation in which there is a lot of confusion and some — a little bit of chaos, people running back and forth, taking their masks off, being close in proximity. That absolutely poses a risk that there might be spread of infection,” he added.
Fauci noted that while Americans have a First Amendment right to protest, “it’s a delicate balance.”
“Because the reasons for demonstrating are valid, and yet, the demonstration itself puts one at an additional risk. So, the only thing we can do as public health officials is to keep warning people, be careful,” he insisted.
“If you are going to go out, please make sure you wear a mask, and you keep the mask on at all times. Because I’ve seen, on TV, as the demonstrations start to heat up, people might take their masks off when they’re starting to yell and scream and demonstrate. Keep your mask on. First of all, if you can avoid the demonstration, if you can, fine. If you can’t, make sure you wear a mask.”
Fauci’s comments came as 1,200 healthcare pros and public policy types claimed that protesting shutdown orders is bad (because coronavirus) but protesting Floyd’s death is okay (because racism is bad).