Only days after President Donald Trump declared the spread of the illness a national emergency, those tasked with hampering the spread of the virus made appearances on various news shows, discussing the danger of the disease and the efforts to combat it.
Dr. Fauci Weighs In On Coronavirus
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made several appearances on various news shows to discuss the steps the government is taking to address the spread of the coronavirus. On ABC’s This Week, host Jonathan Karl asked the director about predictions made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency stated that between 160 million and 214 million infections would occur and that the virus could cause up to 1.7 million deaths nationwide.
Fauci argued that a model is “only as good as the assumptions you put into a model.” He explained further: “The worst-case scenario is either you do nothing or your mitigation and containments don’t succeed. So although that’s possible, it is unlikely if we do the kinds of things that we’re essentially outlining right now.”
The director anticipated that the situation would not become as dire as the CDC’s predictions because of steps taken by the White House. Earlier in the week, President Trump announced he was placing travel bans on China, Iran, and most of Europe. These nations have experienced a high number of COVID-19 infections.
Fauci explained the necessity of the travel bans: “So you block infections from coming in, and then within is when you have containment and mitigation.” He continued, “And that’s the reason why the kinds of things we’re doing, that may seem like an overreaction, will keep us away from that worst-case scenario.”
Some have speculated about whether the Trump administration will enact domestic travel restrictions. It has recently been reported that the president was considering banning travel from California and Washington, but no action has been taken on that front so far. “I mean, they’ve been discussed, but not seriously discussed,” Fauci explained. “But remember, we are very open-minded about whatever it takes to preserve the health of the American public.”
Democrats and members of the establishment media have criticized the travel bans, claiming that they will not be effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Former Vice President Joe Biden recently posted a tweet, asserting: “Banning all travel from Europe — or any other part of the world — will not stop it.”
In an appearance on CBS’ Face The Nation, Dr. Fauci told host Margaret Brennan that if the administration does not take this type of action, the situation could become more severe: “If you just leave the virus to its own devices, it’ll go way up like we’ve seen in Italy – that’s not going to happen if we do what we’re attempting to do and are doing,” he said.
Governors Look At Closing Schools And Restaurants
Two governors also made the Sunday morning circuit to discuss the possibility of shutting down various institutions to decrease the spread of the coronavirus.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said Sunday that schools might remain closed through the end of the year as the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread. DeWine (R) appeared on CNN’s State of the Union and updated host Brianna Keilar on the actions his state is taking. The host asked DeWine if they would be closing schools for the rest of the year.
“Absolutely,” he replied. “Going by what medical experts are telling us, [the outbreak] may not peak until the latter part of April or May.” The governor went on: “We’ve informed the superintendents while we’ve closed schools for three weeks, that the odds are that this is going to go on a lot longer.”
The governor also indicated that the state would be taking further actions to halt the spread of the illness. “What I have learned from talking with the experts is, it’s not just one thing. You got to do a lot of different things and do them early.”
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said that he would be taking action to deal with the issue. In an appearance on Meet The Press, he stated that he is “looking hard” at the possibility of closing down dining establishments and bars.
Pritzker noted that despite closing down the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Chicago, people still took to the streets. “Young people who think they’re impervious to this went out and celebrated,” he said. “People aren’t understanding that, even if you’re healthy, even if you’re young, that you may be a carrier. And you’re going to hand it over to somebody else.”
The governor acknowledged the difficulty of the situation, noting that it could impact the livelihoods of small business owners. “Well, what I’m telling you is that we’ve been on the trajectory now and planning for each of these steps because it’s not easy. You can imagine each one of these decisions has consequences to them that are not just about the pandemic,” he said.
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