Trump news – live: Fauci defies president to warn lifting lockdown too soon could trigger ‘uncontrollable’ outbreak as Pence forced to keep distance after exposure

Trump news – live: Fauci defies president to warn lifting lockdown too soon could trigger ‘uncontrollable’ outbreak as Pence forced to keep distance after exposure


Trump news – live: Fauci defies president to warn lifting lockdown too soon could trigger ‘uncontrollable’ outbreak as Pence forced to keep distance after exposure

Trump news – live: Fauci defies president to warn lifting lockdown too soon could trigger ‘uncontrollable’ outbreak as Pence forced to keep distance after exposure

Trump news – live: Fauci defies president to warn lifting lockdown too soon could trigger ‘uncontrollable’ outbreak as Pence forced to keep distance after exposure 1

Dr Fauci contradicts Trump on ending coronavirus lockdown

Donald Trump has found himself contradicted on the merits of reopening America from its coronavirus lockdown by Dr Anthony Fauci, his own top infectious diseases expert, who told the Senate via a video hearing on Tuesday that doing so prematurely could trigger “spikes that might turn into outbreaks” that prove difficult to control.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was appearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee from home because he was self-isolating after possibly coming into contact with a White House staffer who tested positive – as were several other key experts testifying and the panel’s own chairman, Republican Lemar Alexander, gavelling in the session from his living room in Tennessee.

Absurdly, given those circumstances, the theme of the gathering was getting citizens “back to school and back to work”, as Alexander put it.

Dr Fauci was asked by Pennsylvania senator Bob Casey to expound upon his worries about reopening, which he had already trailed in an email to The New York Times.

The physician was unambiguous: “My concern is that if states or cities or regions in their attempt, understandable, to get back to some form of normality, disregard to a greater or lesser degree the checkpoints that we put in our guidelines about when it is safe to proceed in pulling back on mitigation.

“Because I feel if that occurs, there is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you might not be able to control and in fact, paradoxically, will set you back – not only leading to some suffering and death that could be avoided, but even set you back on the road to trying to get economic recovery.

“Because it would almost turn the clock back rather than going forward. That is my major concern, senator.”

That answer, commendably frank as it was, found him at odds with President Trump, who has made no secret of his enthusiasm for reopening the states as soon as possible to kickstart the economy in good time for his re-election tilt, even if that means putting American lives at risk.

Amazingly, the president has so far resisted tweeting angrily about his fellow New Yorker’s comments, despite them running so counter to his own messaging.

Here’s Andrew Naughtie’s report.
 


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