Dr. Fauci Calls on Every American to Do This One Thing
With coronavirus cases and hospitalizations raging across America, it can feel sometimes like we're living in two Americas: one that believes public health measures will stop the spread of the virus and one where personal freedom—and thus the right to ignore public health measures, and be free of government mandates—is more cherished. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, was asked about this very quandary during the New York Times DealBook Online Summit on Tuesday, by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin. Read on to see how Dr. Fauci thinks we can solve this problem, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Says You Can't Run Away From the Data
Fauci was asked about this tweet from new Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia:
"Our first session of New Member Orientation covered COVID in Congress. Masks, masks, masks…. I proudly told my freshman class that masks are oppressive. In GA, we work out, shop, go to restaurants, go to work, and school without masks. My body, my choice. #FreeYourFace," Greene tweeted.
Sorkin asked what "can be done differently than what's been done thus far, because to some degree, I think we have to acknowledge"—with Congresspeople and their constituents rebelling against Fauci's advice—"that it's not working."
"When you hear statements like that, that go against all of the scientific and public health data, it's really very disturbing," Fauci said. "Uh, Andrew, I'm not going to have an easy answer for you about that. We have to have a consistency of message."
Fauci blamed the distrust of science on a messaging problem. "One of the difficult aspects of this infection is that it's very unique in that, so many people, maybe 40%, get infected with no symptoms. Those who have symptoms are individuals—about 80% have moderate symptoms that they could handle at home. But there is a segment of our society, which is a significant group of vulnerable people that when they get infected, they have a high degree of risk of getting into trouble. That's disproportionately represented in minority populations, but it's the elderly and those with underlying conditions. So it's a messaging problem because people see people who get infected and it has no problem, but yet we now have 245,000 deaths and 11 million infections."
"This is the worst outbreak that we've had of a respiratory-borne illness in 102 years," he continued. "You can't run away from the data."
Dr. Fauci Said Now is the Time to Practice Safety Measures for "Your Neighbors and the Rest of the Country"
Currently there have been over 11.3 million confirmed cases and over 247,000 deaths in the United States alone. "It's incomprehensible to me how people are not seeing that these are real numbers. And unfortunately we've gotten into a situation of political divisiveness that a public health message—like, I'm trying to give is not encroaching on anybody's freedom. Public health message is your personal and your societal responsibility to your neighbors and to the rest of the country."
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place until there's a vaccine available: Wear your face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, stay outdoors more than indoors. "We have seen what happens when you don't do that by the very unfortunate experiences that have become very public now in the United States. I mean, that's proof positive," says Fauci. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.