Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House task force, said he’s “humble enough” to realize that other solutions to stem the spread of the coronavirus exist other than to shut down the economy, but said that was the “choice we made.”
Fauci was asked during an appearance on Fox News’ “Watters World” about critics who said closing the economy led to Americans’ losing their jobs and their livelihoods.
“We felt at the time and still do now that that was the right thing to do. Could there have been other approaches? I mean I’m humble enough to know that maybe there could be,” he said on the Saturday evening show. “That was the choice we made. Based on the information that we have, one can always second guess. But that happens. This is a serious situation that has impacted a lot of people.”
He said the Trump administration was trying to find a fine line between the economic cost and the need to keep people from being infected through “physical separation” methods.
“That’s a consequence that you have to balance. The attempt to save as many lives as you can — what is known as a deleterious effect on the economy which is the reason why right now we’re looking very carefully about how we can possibly in a safe way reopen the country to the economic opportunities that we have,” the infectious disease expert said.
President Trump announced social distancing guidelines last month and a week later extended them until April 30 after health experts said the practice was helping to tamp down the number of cases.
The president said he is meeting with top health offices, business leaders and lawmakers to discuss reopening the economy by May 1.
Nearly 17 million Americans have been laid off or furloughed in the past three weeks because of the pandemic.
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