Top U.S health advisor Anthony Fauci is in the hotseat after seemingly changing his tune on the lockdowns that have wrought chaos on many states. He is now advising that the U.S economy may experience “irreparable damage” if it continues to flounder under extreme COVID-19 precautions.
Speaking to CNBC anchor Meg Tirrell on Halftime Report, Dr. Fauci stated that:
“Now is the time, depending upon where you are and what your situation is, to begin to seriously look at reopening the economy, reopening the country to try to get back to some degree of normal.”
Fauci’s comments today were in contrast to statements he made as recently as May 12, when he was warning of “serious consequences” if states reopened too quickly. These warnings continued through May 19, when Fauci maintained his warning on re-opening, coming out against President Donald Trump’s “Opening Up America Again” program.
All 50 U.S states have begun to implement reopening procedures, with various differing restrictions among them. Fauci’s interview with CNBC came just as President Trump was announcing he would rule all places of worship “essential,” and override state governors attempting to keep churches, mosques, and temples of all faiths closed during the pandemic.
A recent study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research has stated that an estimate of 100,000 small businesses will be closed for good by the end of the pandemic, representing two per cent of American businesses.
By some measures, COVID-19 has impacted 1.57 million Americans, with over 95,000 tragically passing as a direct result of the virus.