Fauci has appeared on the state of the Union of CNN. Asked why the administration did not act when he and other officials advised him, he replied, “You know … as I have said many times, we are considering the situation of a purely sanitary point of view. We make a recommendation. Often the recommendation is taken. Sometimes not.
” …It is what it is. We are where we are right now. “
More than 530,000 cases of Covid-19 have now been confirmed in the United States, with nearly 21,000 deaths. Authorities are currently expecting around 60,000 people to die in August.
CNN host Jake Tapper asked if Fauci thought “lives could have been saved if social dislocation, physical alienation and home support measures had started [in the] third week of February, instead of mid-March. “
“It is very difficult to go back and say that,” said Fauci. “I mean, of course, you could logically say that if you had an ongoing process and started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives. Obviously, no one is going to deny it.
“But what goes into these kinds of decisions is complicated. But you are right. I mean, obviously, if we had stopped everything from the start, it might have been a little different. But there was a lot of repression about the closure of things at the time. “
Since the White House released guidelines on social distancing on March 16, much of the country has entered a deadlock, shutting down the economy and causing unprecedented and potentially ruinous unemployment.
Faced with such conditions during an election year, Donald Trump expressed his desire to reopen the economy on May 1.
Fauci, other experts and governors of hard-hit states were skeptical on Sunday. Phil Murphy, governor of New Jersey, the state with the highest number of deaths after New York, told CBS Face the Nation: “If we start to get back on our feet too soon … we could throw gas on the fire. “
One of Trump’s most vocal supporters of the American media, Fox News host Sean Hannity followed the president in attacking the Times.
“Hey [Maggie Haberman]”, Hannity tweeted, to one of six reporters in signing the report on Saturday. “… you should thank [Trump] for travel bans in place while you and [New York Times] were obsessed with impeachment and advising people to go to China. #NYTimesEpicFail. “
Trump has limited travel from China before travel from Europe. The Times reported that scientists believe that most of the first New York cases of Covid-19 originated in Europe, prompting presidential tweets.
In response to Hannity, Haberman wrote: “Weird. Six bylines on our story of how the President dealt with the growing threat from the coronavirus, but only one on which he focused. Something over there but I can’t put my finger on it… ”
The only woman reporter in The Times’s history also tweeted footage of Fauci’s comments.
“This is the confirmation of our history”, she wrote“Who focused on various moments, the president had to take the threat more seriously and failed to do so, largely because of the culture of government he created. “