Apr 14, 2020 - Health

Fauci: Goal of reopening U.S. by May 1 is "a bit overly optimistic"

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with AP Tuesday that the United States does not yet have the testing and contact tracing capacity to reopen its economy.

The big picture: The Trump administration has been encouraged by data showing fewer deaths than models earlier predicted, and some aides have pushed for a May 1 reopening. But Fauci cautioned against that target, saying it's “a bit overly optimistic" for much of the country until there's rapid testing in place.

Last week, Surgeon General Jerome Adams also disagreed with others in the federal government that the 30-day campaign will be enough for all Americans to re-up their work and lifestyles.

  • Government projections show that lifting social distancing restrictions after just 30 days will lead to a dramatic infection spike this summer and death tolls that would rival having done nothing since the outbreak began, the New York Times reports.

What Fauci's saying:

  • “I’ll guarantee you, once you start pulling back there will be infections. It’s how you deal with the infections that’s going count."
  • Easing existing social distancing rules in much of the U.S. would need to happen on a “rolling” basis, he said, rather than all at once.
  • “We have to have something in place that is efficient and that we can rely on, and we’re not there yet."

What's next: Looking forward, Fauci said another wave of infections isn't predetermined. However, “if you mean it goes way down and then come September, October, November, we have another peak, I have to say I would not be surprised," he said.

  • "I would hope that if and when that occurs, that we jump all over it in a much, much more effective way than we have in these past few months.”

Go deeper... The latest coronavirus red flag: contact tracing

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Health experts fear that the protests breaking out across the U.S. could contribute to the spread of the coronavirus.

The state of play: Being outside may limit the danger, but close quarters, yelling, and potential exposure to tear gas, which causes coughing and crying, increase the risk of spread. It's recommended that those who are protesting be tested for the coronavirus.

23 hours ago - World

U.S. sends Brazil 2 million doses of hydroxychloroquine and 1,000 ventilators

President Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

The White House announced on Sunday that the U.S. has sent 2 million doses of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine to Brazil and that 1,000 ventilators will soon be delivered as well as the South American country becomes the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: The situation in Brazil, which has reported over 498,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 28,000 deaths, is threatening to spiral out of control as far-right President Jair Bolsonaro faces mounting criticism for downplaying the severity of the virus.

May 31, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country

Protestors rally in Minneapolis. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Health experts fear that massive protests against police brutality in major cities around the United States could result in new coronavirus outbreaks due to the close proximity of demonstrators, AP reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. has already recorded more confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths than any other country in the world. A potential surge in cases stemming from the protests would come as many states are weeks into their phased reopening plans.