Fauci admits earlier COVID-19 mitigation efforts would have saved more American lives
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that calls to implement life-saving social distancing measures faced "pushback" early in the US coronavirus outbreak and that the country is now looking for ways to more effectively respond to the virus should it rebound in the fall.
"I mean, obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives," Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" when asked if social distancing and stay-at-home measures could have saved lives had they been put in place in February, instead of mid-March.
"Obviously, no one is going to deny that. But what goes into those decisions is complicated," added Fauci, who is a key member of the Trump administration's coronavirus task force. "But you're right, I mean, obviously, if we had right from the very beginning shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different. But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then."
Fauci told Tapper that "there is always a possibility, as we get into next fall and the beginning of early winter that we could see a rebound," in the virus, but the lessons learned from the first iteration of it should help the US better respond to a potential new wave.
"Hopefully, hopefully, what we have gone through now and the capability that we have for much, much better testing capability, much, much better surveillance capability, and the ability to respond with countermeasures, with drugs that work, that it will be an entirely different ball game," he said.
There are more than 530,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US, and more than 20,600 Americans have died, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
By Devan Cole, CNN via The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.
The Gayly. 4/12/2020 @ 9:47 a.m. CST.