Left Menu
Development News Edition

As Trump holds rally, Fauci urges masks, avoiding mass gatherings

As President Donald Trump held his first campaign rally since disclosing he contracted the coronavirus this month, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said the United States faced a "whole lot of trouble" if it did not encourage universal wearing of face masks and avoid mass gatherings. "We have a baseline of infections now that varies between 40 and 50,000 per day.

Reuters | Updated: 13-10-2020 06:19 IST | Created: 13-10-2020 06:19 IST
As Trump holds rally, Fauci urges masks, avoiding mass gatherings

As President Donald Trump held his first campaign rally since disclosing he contracted the coronavirus this month, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said the United States faced a "whole lot of trouble" if it did not encourage universal wearing of face masks and avoid mass gatherings.

"We have a baseline of infections now that varies between 40 and 50,000 per day. That's a bad place to be when you're going into the cooler weather of the fall and the colder weather of the winter," Fauci told CNBC. He spoke as Trump began his rally in Florida on Monday evening, three weeks before the Nov. 3 election in which opinion polls show the Republican president trailing Democrat Joe Biden.

"We're in a bad place now. We've got to turn this around," said Fauci, who has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984 and a key member of the White House coronavirus task force. "If we do five fundamental things: Universal wearing of masks, maintaining physical distance, avoiding congregate settings or crowds ... doing things more outdoors, as opposed to indoors and washing your hands frequently, those simple things ... can certainly turn around the spikes that we see and can prevent new spikes from occurring."

Asked what the consequences would be of not following such steps, Fauci replied: "I think we're facing a whole lot of trouble." In an earlier interview with CNN, Fauci said Trump's campaign team should withdraw an advertisement that draws on a statement Fauci made that he says is being used out of context.

He called the ad, which was released last week, "unfortunate and really disappointing." The ad discusses Trump's effort to recover from COVID-19, as well as his administration's work to address the coronavirus pandemic. The 30-second spot uses public remarks from Fauci in a way that suggests he was praising the president.

The remarks came from a March interview where Fauci discussed the broader effort to fight the new coronavirus, including by the White House task force. Fauci has said that he has never publicly endorsed a political candidate for public office.

Fauci has sometimes been diplomatically critical of the president, including for holding rallies that attract thousands of people. The disease has infected more than 7.8 million people in the United States and killed more than 214,000. Opinion polls show most voters disapprove of the president's handling of the crisis. Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh defended the ad on Sunday, saying the words from Fauci "are accurate, and directly from Dr. Fauci’s mouth."

'CERTAIN SUBSET' Earlier on Monday, senior Trump administration officials briefing reporters by telephone, said Americans should be cautiously optimistic about the U.S. response to the coronavirus, and that there was no need for society to be paralyzed with extensive lockdowns.

The officials, who asked not to be identified, told reporters that the virus was dangerous only for a "certain subset of population," and children were at extremely low risk of serious illness related to the highly contagious disease. Trump has repeatedly called for states to reopen their economies and Fauci said people did need leeway to do the things important for their livelihoods.

"We're not talking about shutting down the country," he said. "But we're talking about truly careful, serious, public-health considerations, like wearing a mask, like avoiding congregate settings. That's not very difficult to do, and it should not interfere with getting the economy open again."


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Britain's climate advisers call for at least a 68% emissions reduction by 2030

Britain should increase its 2030 emissions reduction target to at least a 68 cut on 1990 levels to help it meet its goals under the Paris climate agreement, the governments climate advisers said on Thursday.This would constitute a decisive ...

Majority of borrowers unaware of their CIBIL score: Report

Two out of three borrowers in the country are unaware of their CIBIL score, an indicator of credit worthiness, despite good progress on the financial inclusion front, according to a report. CIBIL score as a parameter helps in understanding ...

3 get six-year jail for having fake currency notes

A special court of the National Investigation Agency NIA here has sentenced three people to six years simple imprisonment for possessing fake Indian currency notes. The trio was sentenced on December 1, the NIA said.Trial against four other...

Tesco boss calls on UK: give us greater post-Brexit border clarity

Tesco, Britains biggest supermarket, called on the British government to give greater clarity about how it will move goods across borders after Brexit, saying it will be the biggest challenge come Jan. 1. Chief Executive Ken Murphy told Sky...

Give Feedback