As President Trump and his administration unveiled plans to begin reopening the country, some critics balked at the idea and suggested the nation needs to remain largely shut down until an effective vaccine is available, which could take up to a year or two.
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease expert and a key member of the president’s coronavirus task force, just suggested on Thursday that, while still maintaining some mitigation efforts, much of the nation could resume “a significant degree of normality” even before a vaccine is widely available.
Vaccine important but not necessary
The surprising admission from the typically pessimistic and cautious Fauci came during an interview on Thursday with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
Ingraham noted that Fauci himself had previously suggested that a vaccine would be necessary before the nation could return to normal, but the doctor explained how the gradual and phased nature of the administration’s guidelines for reopening would allow for a return to near-normality in the meantime.
He said that the White House guidelines were “a gradual process that takes into account that we have a heterogeneous dynamic of outbreaks throughout the country,” and also factored in that “California is really different than New Orleans, is really different than New York or Detroit, and places like Arkansas and New Mexico are very different.”
“So what this plan does, it creates a baseline of a starting point, which we call the gating, where you have to have a certain degree of indication that the outbreak is decreasing over a period of time,” he continued, noting that such a process would allow less impacted parts of the country to move forward sooner than other.
“Significant degree of normality”
Ingraham noted some of the criticism of President Trump’s guidelines, which were signed off on by Fauci and other medical experts. In particular, she brought up presumptive Democratic nominee former Vice President Joe Biden, who said, “This isn’t going to be over until we have a vaccine.”
Fauci said the public health crisis is “not going to be over to the point of our being able to not do any mitigation until we have a scientifically sound, safe and effective vaccine, but that does not mean that we can’t approach a significant degree of normality.”
“One of the things that we said very clearly, that throughout all of those phases, there’s a baseline level of care that we would have to be addressing that we didn’t have before we had this outbreak,” he continued. “So whether you’re on Phase 1 and still tightened up a bit or you’ve already graduated to Phase 3, there are still guidelines for all phases.”
He added that a key aspect of the guidelines is that they allow for close monitoring and rapid reaction by way of increased mitigation strategies to a resurgence of the virus in specific locations.
This is great news that flies in the face of the media’s narrative of doom and undermines the argument that lockdowns must be maintained in perpetuity until a vaccine becomes widely available.
The doomsayers in the media won’t like that, nor will the authoritarians who’ve imposed restrictive measures upon the citizenry, but the American people that are champing at the bit to get out and about and back to work will be overjoyed to hear it.