Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on CNN on Wednesday evening to brief CNN’s Chris Cuomo about the specifics of the developments of crisis surrounding the coronavirus or COVID-19.
President Donald Trump announced this week that he would like to have the country back up and everything open by Easter, which is April 12. According to the data, however, social distancing and city lockdowns are working.
Cuomo asked Fauci about the quickly increasing numbers of cases in Louisiana, which has exploded in the number of cases over the past several days.
“All of a sudden they went from, like, 100 cases last week to now they’re, like, ten times that plus,” Cuomo said of New Orleans. “What’s going on down there?”
“It’s the same thing,” Fauci explained, using New York as an example. “What it is is that what likely happened, they’ve done it now — I mean, I have spoken to the political officials in New Orleans and in the state of Louisiana — they’re now shutting things down in a very vigorous way. It is likely that that should have been done a little bit sooner. Not blaming anyone on that, but you get caught unawares because the nature of this outbreak, Chris, that’s so frustrating and in many respects, you know, a bit frightening and intimidating is what you and I discussed, you know, several shows ago. It putters along and you think you’re okay. Then it starts to go up a little and then, bingo, it goes up in an exponential way.”
While Louisiana has seen an explosion, the state of Mississippi announced Wednesday that it would supersede any local orders to shelter in place and order businesses to reopen, putting thousands of people at risk.
“So you got two different points of pressure coming from opposite directions. you have people saying, ‘It’s been long enough, Tony. You told me two weeks. I did two weeks. I can’t do this anymore. I want to get back to work. We’ve got to open up. Whatever happens, happens,'” Cuomo explained. “And then on the other side, you have this pressure of clearly we have to do this a lot longer because the mitigation efforts aren’t working. My brother, every other word out of his mouth is ‘accelerating.’ It’s blah, blah, blah, accelerating cases. Accelerating pattern. So how do you deal with those opposite interests?”
Fauci explained that Cuomo’s brother is spot on, and in a large country like the United States there are different ways to view what must be done.
“Right now you wouldn’t even think about not putting the damper on what’s going on in New York,” Fauci said. “That would be outlandish as it’s going up. No doubt, but there are other parts of the country which we need to get a better feel for what is going on. And the way we do that is by increasing testing and identifying people who are infected, isolating them, getting out of circulation and then do contact tracing. That’s what we call containment.”
He said that if they can do containment early on and mitigation in other states where it’s already exploding.
“You don’t make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline,” Fauci said.
BuzzFeed reported that doctors and nurses agree that there are so many deaths in the country that aren’t even being counted as part of the coronavirus data.
“We just don’t know. The numbers are grossly under-reported. I know for a fact that we’ve had three deaths in one county where only one is listed on the website,” a California ER doctor told BuzzFeed. “Those medical records aren’t being audited by anyone at the state and local level currently and some people aren’t even testing those people who are dead.”
While it seems New York has things organized, that isn’t necessarily true for other states in the country, like Mississippi, which can’t even agree to lockdown businesses. According to these experts, it’s clear that no one knows how many people are dying or even the accurate number of how many have the virus.
Watch Fauci’s comments below: