indica News Bureau-
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and leader of the Whitehouse Coronavisrus Task Force on Tuesday warned the Senate Health Committee of serious consequences if states open the lockdown before the danger of the pandemic passes while the White House presses states to reopen soon.
In a highly anticipated hearing on Tuesday Fauci said that there could be “really serious” consequences if states ignore federal guidelines and reopen too early during the coronavirus pandemic. He further said that the danger of new spikes of coronavirus cases from reopening is both real and dangerous.
“My concern is that if some areas, city, states or what have you, jump over those various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently, my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks,” Fauci said during virtual testimony from his home in Washington.
Fauci, who is self-isolating after being in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case at the White House said, “The consequences could be really serious.”
He added that this is also the case in states that are moving at an “appropriate pace” in reopening as well.
“Even under the best of circumstances, when you pull back on mitigation, you will see some cases appear. It’s the ability and the capability of responding to those cases with good identification, isolation and contact tracing will determine whether you can continue to go forward, as you try to reopen America,” he added.
Experts say far more testing and contact tracing capacity is needed before the country can safely reopen. Testing availability varies dramatically from state to state, and some public health departments are still hiring and training workers who will trace contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases and link them to testing.
More than 1.3 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S., leading to nearly 81,000 deaths.
Fauci’s comments at the hearing, which was carried live by cable television networks, comes as the White House has pressed states to reopen their economies. President Trump has also criticized some states for not doing more to reopen.
“The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails,” “The Democrats are moving slowly, all over the USA, for political purposes. They would wait until November 3rd if it were up to them,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “Don’t play politics. Be safe, move quickly!” he concluded.
Most states have reopened in some capacity, creating a political divide as Republican governors have tended to lift restrictions faster than states led by Democrats. Several states have begun reopening without first experiencing a 14-day downward trajectory in COVID-19 cases or a decline in the percentage of positive tests, recommendations laid out in the administration’s guidelines for reopening.
“There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak,” Fauci said of ignoring those guidelines.
“You might not be able to control it, which in fact, paradoxically, will set you back, not only leading to some suffering and death [that] could be avoided, but could even set you back on the road to try to get economic recovery.”