Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 8, 2020, in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence listens. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Folks on the left were all over a CNN interview that Dr. Anthony Fauci did with Jake Tapper today.
Tapper said that Dr. Sanjay Gupta thought we reacted late and Fauci disputed that, saying it was unfair to compare us to South Korea which has a different make up.
During the interview, they spoke about a report that the government had been advised to begin social distancing measures in February a couple of weeks after the first case was diagnosed in the U.S.
From Daily Wire:
Fauci said, “You know, Jake, as I have said many times, we look at it from a pure health standpoint. We make a recommendation. Often, the recommendation is taken. Sometimes it’s not. But we – it is what it is. We are where we are right now.”
Tapper asked Fauci if lives could have been saved if stay-at-home orders had begun earlier.
“Obviously, no one is going to deny that. But what goes into those decisions is complicated,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
“But you’re right, I mean, obviously, if we had right from the very beginning shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different. But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then,” he said.
He may be saying, obviously, in hindsight if everyone knew what one knew now that would be correct. Except of course everyone didn’t know that.
The problem is that doesn’t comport with what Fauci himself said throughout January and February. Fauci himself was telling the public on Feb. 29 there was no reason to change any behaviors.
Here’s what Fauci said on February 29:
Fauci: February 29 pic.twitter.com/PxwbdQ5WSu
— Steph (@steph93065) April 12, 2020
So what he was saying himself on that date was there was no reason to change any behaviors.
Why was he saying that at that point? He indicates it in his remarks – at that point they weren’t sure yet there had been community spread. There were the cases in Washington state. But they weren’t sure it had gone beyond that. That’s why they thought they might have cut it off with cutting travel. This was before even the first case in New York, which was discovered March 1. Once they got into March and realized there was community spread beyond the individual people just coming in from China or Iran, that’s when they came out with the social distancing guidelines, which seems perfectly rational in terms of response.
The problem was that the Chinese had not been honest from the beginning, as Fauci noted in another interview that the president himself tweeted. The interview, with Jesse Watters, further explains why they really didn’t have all the information in January and February because of the lies by China and the false information spread by WHO about it not being communicable human to human.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2020
From The Sun:
“The Chinese were saying first it [the virus] was only going from an animal to a human, and then when there were human to human cases, that it was inefficient,” he told Watters.
“When it became clear not only is transmitted efficiently from human to human, but that it is very very contagious… and a high degree of morbidity and mortality, it became clear we were in for a problem.”
“Early on we did not get correct information,” he continued. “The incorrect information was propagated from the beginning.”
Fauci also said to Tapper that they were now considering a gradual rollback of restrictions to get the economy back on track, depending on where you were in the country, probably starting next month and that New York appeared to have “turned the corner” this weekend.
From Daily Wire:
“It’s not going to be a light switch,” he said, adding that there will likely be a “rolling re-entry.” “It’s going to be depending where you are in the country, the nature of the outbreak that you already experienced, and the threat of an outbreak that you may not have experienced.” [….]
“It’s started to turn a corner… it’s cautious optimism that we are seeing that decrease. Once you turn that corner, hopefully we will see a very sharp decline. Then you can start thinking about how we can keep it that way and prevent it from re-surging,” he said.