Americans need to learn obedience, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a White House coronavirus adviser, said that the size and character of America make it difficult to simply shut down the entire nation.
“I was talking with my U.K. colleagues who are saying the U.K. is similar to where we are now, because each of our countries have that independent spirit,” he said Thursday, according to CNBC.
“I can understand that, but now is the time to do what you’re told,” he said.
Fauci says U.S. has ‘independent spirit,’ but now is the time to ‘do what you’re told’ https://t.co/9FRazgqExS
— CNBC (@CNBC) November 13, 2020
Fauci said America “had too much individual approaches towards how we were going to handle the outbreak,” according to WTOP.
“We did not act in a unified way,” he said, adding that in the early months of the pandemic, not enough was done to limit the spread of the virus.
Fauci said the image of scientists and health experts as “authoritarian” by Americans was a problem because science “has been lumped into politics,” according to CNBC.
Heeding science becomes part of a political view in a very divided society, he said.
“All of a sudden science gets caught in a lot of this divisiveness.”
Fauci said he is not calling for a mass shutdown, as has been proposed by some members of presumptive potential President-elect Joe Biden’s team, but strict obedience to guidelines that call for wearing masks, socially distancing, and washing hands.
“I think every family unit needs to do a risk assessment,” he said, taking into effect factors such as the age of those attending, any underlying health conditions and the extent of travel needed to bring everyone together.
“You may want to make a decision that you’re just going to forestall it — now whenever I say that I’m the grinch that stole Thanksgiving,” he said. “I’m not saying that. I’m saying everyone needs to seriously think about the risk-benefit.”
Fauci said there’s nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution.
“You might say,” he continued, “I had a wonderful Thanksgiving last year. I’m looking forward to a wonderful Thanksgiving next year. But maybe right now is not the time to have 25 people in a house when you take your mask off as you’re eating.”
The infectious disease expert drew a reaction on Twitter.
Thanksgiving is not cancelled in the Browning household. Sorry, Fauci.
— Dean Browning (@DeanBrowningPA) November 13, 2020
Listen to Dr. Fauci: Don’t invite your kids home from college for Thanksgiving. Pay for their turkey and Zoom or Skype it. It’s not worth spreading the virus. https://t.co/r3m5kgpOwY
— Judy Melinek M.D. (@drjudymelinek) November 11, 2020
Trying to achieve herd immunity — in which the virus would be allowed to spread to build up enough immunity in the nation that the virus eventually is no longer a threat — is not a good option, he said.
“It sounds simple in the context of this ominous outbreak but in fact we can turn it around,” he said according to CNBC.
Fauci was upbeat about a vaccine from Pfizer that the company has said was 90 percent effective.
“When people know that help is on the way … I hope we can get over the COVID fatigue,” he said.
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