On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," the White House's foremost infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told Chris Cuomo that younger people should be just as vigilant against coronavirus as the elderly, whose mortality rate is generally higher.
"Now, young people," said Cuomo. "They've been nonchalant about some of this — some of them, let's not generalize — but young people have been given the impression that if I get this, I'm going to be okay. So some of the isolation seems overblown for them. Let's leave it for the old folks. Now we're hearing about cases of young people getting hit hard abroad and here at home, being in extreme distress with cases. What changed?"
"Well, nothing has changed except we learned more and more," said Fauci. "Again, remember, Chris, a couple times ago when I was on your show, I told you this is a work in motion. It's evolving. Every day we learn more and more. And when you see reports from other countries, and now even in our own country, you realize there are things you didn't fully appreciate."
"But getting back to young people, there are two reasons why young people need to take this very seriously," said Fauci. "One, you yourself can be in harm's way. I mean, obviously most of the difficulties are in people who are older and/or who have underlying conditions. And many of the young people who have actually gotten into trouble did have underlying conditions. But you're not out of danger."
"But even as important is that you have a responsibility, a societal responsibility, to protect the vulnerable," continued Fauci. "And you do that, interestingly, by not letting yourself get infected, because you need to make sure that you don't inadvertently pass on the infection to someone who would not fare as well as you fare because you're young and healthy. So there's a two pillars. Yourself, and your responsibility to society."