Fauci says hard-hit US states should pause reopening

WASHINGTON, July 9 (Xinhua) - A top US infectious diseases expert said on Thursday that US states hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic should not be moving forward with reopening.


In this file photo taken on June 30, 2020 Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, prepares to testify before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington DC on June 30, 2020 in Washington,DC. (Photo: AFP)

"I would think we need to get the states pausing in their opening process, looking at what did not work well and try to mitigate that," said Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during an interview with the Hill.

However, Fauci stopped short of calling for full lockdowns.

"I don't think we need to go back to an extreme of shutting down," he said, adding that hard-hit states should take measures including closing bars and avoiding large gatherings.

The remarks stood in sharp contrast to those of US President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly downplayed the worsening COVID-19 outbreak in the country and encouraged states to quickly reopen their economies.

It was also not the first time Fauci has issued a public rebuke of Trump. Earlier this week, Fauci warned against a "false narrative" of a falling COVID-19-related death rate while the Trump administration and the president himself continued to tout alleged progress the United States has made in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak by citing a falling US mortality rate.