Fauci said states need to pause their reopening, rather than 'reverting back down to a complete shutdown'

Dr. Anthony Fauci with President Donald Trump.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
  • Dr Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, has said that states where coronavirus infections are increasing should consider "pausing their opening process."
  • On Thursday Johns Hopkins University recorded its highest single-day tally of new infections, with more than 65,000 new cases recorded.
  • Infection rates are spiking in states such as Texas and Florida, which were quick to lift restrictions.

Dr Anthony Fauci, one of the leading experts of the White House coronavirus task force, has called for states to pause reopening their economies amid a record increase in new coronavirus infections.

He suggested that the strategy would be preferable to re-imposing the lockdowns seen earlier in the course of the pandemic.

"Rather than think in terms of reverting back down to a complete shutdown, I would think we need to get the states pausing in their opening process, looking at what did not work well and try to mitigate that," Fauci told The Hill's Editor-at-Large Steve Clemons.Advertisement

"I don't think we need to go back to an extreme of shutting down."

Fauci in the interview stepped back from his position earlier in the week, where he had called for states where infections were spiking to introduce new lockdown measures.

"Any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down. It's not for me to say because each state is different," Fauci said on a Wall Street Journal podcast.
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Fauci's remarks come as Johns Hopkins University recorded its highest ever number of daily new infections Thursday,with 65,000 people testing positive across the US. It was the second time in a week the record for new infections was broken, with 60,200 new cases recorded on Tuesday.

The spike is being driven by a surge in new cases in the south and west of the US, where some states only adopted lockdown measures in a piecemeal fashion, and were among the first to reopen. Some states, including California, Arizona and Texas have reversed their reopening, closing bars and gyms, and requiring people to wear face masks in public. Advertisement

Fauci's stark message on the US failure to cut infection rates and the scale of the ongoing crisis facing the country has contrasted with President Donald Trump's upbeat claims and attempts to mitigate the seriousness of the crisis.

On Monday, Fauci said that the US was still "knee-deep" in the first wave of the pandemic in a Facebook Live interview.

In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity on Thursday, Trump directly criticised Fauci. He said: "Dr Fauci is a nice man but he's made a lot of mistakes." Advertisement

Fauci was not present at the White House coronavirus task force briefing on Wednesday, and recently said that Trump is no longer frequently consulting him or other public health experts about the coronavirus crisis.

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