Dr. Anthony Fauci has a simple message for the states to be delivered during his Tuesday testimony before the Senate HELP (that’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions) Committee: Moving to reopen states too quickly could risk a deadly resurgence of the outbreak.
Full Fauci email message to me: pic.twitter.com/yq8IAa9f8g
— Sheryl Gay Stolberg (@SherylNYT) May 12, 2020
Here’s more on Dr. Fauci’s testimony via CNBC.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist and a key member of President Donald Trump’s White House coronavirus task force, reportedly plans to publicly warn states Tuesday that prematurely reopening their economies will cause “needless suffering and death.”
On Monday night, The New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg reported that Fauci had sent her an email ahead of his public testimony the following day at a hearing of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
“The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee tomorrow is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely,” Fauci wrote in the email, which Stolberg posted on Twitter.
“If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal,” wrote Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Dr. Fauci’s message comes just one day after PA Gov Tom Wolf slammed Trump for pressuring him to reopen his state (which has done an excellent job of flattening the curve) more quickly (the governor was reportedly pushing for another delay). Notably, PA is an important swing state, which Trump won by just ~50k votes out of more than 6 million cast back in 2016 (the narrowest margin for a victorious president-elect in the state’s history).
Most of the mainstream press pointed out that Dr. Fauci’s message would seem to put him “at odds” with President Trump (who has once again been pushing states to reopen more quickly, an issue that Trump has notoriously flip-flopped on several times, like when he said he didn’t support Georgia’s reopening). Though PA was among the states with a more serious outbreak, state officials have done a remarkable job flattening the curve. As of Tuesday morning, the state had roughly 57k confirmed cases.
By Friday, more than half of the counties in PA will have entered “the yellow zone”, according to Wolf’s comments from yesterday’s press briefing.
President Trump has a well-established reputation for bickering with political rivals over issues both big and small. This pugnacious approach might seem baffling to members of the Washington press corp, but for Trump, it has yielded no small amount of success. Officially, both Dr. Fauci and President Trump – as well as the rest of the task force – are backing the same position: State’s should follow the official White House guidelines.
For any readers who want to watch Dr. Fauci’s live testimony, it will stream below beginning at 10amET.