Many parts of the United States haven’t done enough to fight the coronavirus – but New York state has, Dr Anthony Fauci said on Friday.
“We need to do the things that are very clear that we need to do to turn the tide,” Fauci told PBS NewsHour. “Remember we can do it. We know that when you do it right, you reduce these cases. We did it. We did it in New York. ”
“New York has been hit harder than anywhere in the world. And they did it right by doing the things you talk about, “added Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease – and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
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New York State has recorded more than 400,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 28,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University; it has the most COVID-19 cases of any state in the United States
Fauci’s comments came amid a larger debate about which states have responded appropriately to the coronavirus. New York recently defended its response with a poster acknowledging its residents to mitigate the impact of the virus.
However, many have criticized New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for forcing nursing homes to accept patients who test positive for the coronavirus – making them among the most vulnerable.
Scientists, health care professionals and elected officials assaulted a report released this month that purported to show that the Cuomo order was not a significant factor in deaths in retirement homes. This has been criticized for flawed methodology and selective statistics that bypassed the real impact of the March 25 order, which, according to the state’s own figures, has led more than 6,300 patients infected with the virus into retirement homes at the height of the pandemic.
Cuomo rescinded the order under pressure on May 10, long after the death toll in New York City nursing homes rose to one of the highest in the country. To date, nearly 6,500 deaths have been linked to the coronavirus in nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the state.
New York, once a pandemic hotspot, has so far avoided an outbreak of new cases like those plaguing other southern and western states. But the Democratic governor has repeatedly warned that New Yorkers could be at risk if they abandoned social distancing and other practices adopted to stem the spread of the virus.
Daily statewide statistics show New York City 754 newly confirmed cases, or 1.08% of all tests performed. The number of people hospitalized on Friday was down 22 from the previous day.
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Fauci told PBS anchor Judy Woodruff that states may need to “reset” their reopening phases in order to see the number of cases decline.
Wearing a universal mask, closing bars and avoiding crowds were among the efforts he recommended to states. “I think if we do this for a few weeks in a row, Judy, I think we’re going to see a turnaround because we know it works,” Fauci said.
Woodruff pushed back, arguing that the Americans had heard this message before but it “didn’t work.”
Fauci responded by saying the efforts were “a bit erratic.”
“It has not been uniform,” he added, “where everyone in this area says to wait a minute, we have a serious problem. We have to restart this. ”
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While the administration has argued for states and localities to tailor solutions to their own needs, rather than following White House instructions, the Fauci seemed to favor a more unified approach.
“And it’s not like some people say they wear masks, others don’t. Some people say the bars are closed, others don’t. We have to do it in all areas, ”he added.
Cuomo’s top assistant, Melissa DeRosa, tweeted the interview on Saturday, praising the state and the governor.
“Gov Cuomo and New Yorkers deserve Dr. Fauci’s praise -> Keep it up, NY! ” she wrote.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.