Fauci Has Dire Warning for Senate Hearing

States that reopen too quickly risk 'needless suffering and death'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2020 6:11 AM CDT
Fauci Has Dire Warning for Senate Hearing
Dr. Anthony Fauci at a White House briefing.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

Anthony Fauci will testify remotely before a Senate panel Tuesday on the coronavirus outbreak, but he already previewed the main takeaway he plans to convey: States that reopen too soon will put their residents—and the nation—at great risk. In an email to the New York Times, Fauci laid it out: "If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to: 'Open America Again,' then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country," he writes. "This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal." The reference is to the White House guidelines for states on how to reopen. Among other things, they say governors should see a clear "downward trajectory" in positive tests and confirmed cases before moving ahead.

The guidelines also call for widespread contact tracing as well as broader testing of people who may not have symptoms but are vulnerable, such as nursing home patients. Others testifying remotely at the hearing of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will be CDC chief Robert Redfield and FDA chief Stephen Hahn, while GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander will chair the meeting remotely, notes Axios. All of the above, including Fauci, are self-isolating because they were possibly exposed to someone who tested positive. The point of the hearing is to try to flesh out the balance between safety and the desire to get the economy moving again, per USA Today. (More Anthony Fauci stories.)

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