Place home orders designed to limit the spread of coronavirus may end up causing “irreversible damage” if they are imposed for too long, health adviser Dr Anthony Fauci told CNBC on Friday.
“I don’t want people to think that any of us feel this is the way to stay locked in for a long time,” Fauci said during an interview with CNBC’s Meg Tirrell on “Half-Time Report.”
He said the US had to take serious action because Covid-1
However, Fauci also warned states against reducing social distance measures too quickly, adding that they must take “very important precautions.”
“In general, I think most of the country does it carefully,” he said. “There are obviously some situations where people can skip it. I just say please proceed with caution if you will.”
Fauci has been criticized in recent days by Republicans, including US lawmakers Rand Paul and Andy Biggs, for comments that seem to be advocates for keeping some businesses closed longer.
Just last week, Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned members of Congress that the United States could face even more “suffering and death” from coronavirus if some states rush to open businesses too soon.
It could also hinder states “on their way to trying to come back to an economic recovery,” he testified at a hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on May 12. “It would almost turn back the clock rather than move forward. That’s my biggest concern.”
The virus, which occurred in Wuhan, China less than five months ago, has infected more than 1.5 million people in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. States have begun the process of reopening their economies after being shut down for weeks.
In a separate interview with NPR earlier in the day, Fauci said it was “conceivable” that the United States could begin rolling out a coronavirus vaccine by December.
He told CNBC that biotech company Moderne’s vaccine data, released earlier this week, was very encouraging.
Moderna has been fast tracking work with the National Institute of Health to develop a vaccine.
On Monday, the company released data from its phase of a human trial of its potential vaccine, which shows all 45 patients who were involved in producing binding antibodies seen at similar levels by people who have recovered from the virus.
The vaccine produced neutralizing antibodies, which researchers believe are important to protect against the virus, for eight of the patients whose data have been available to date. Data on neutralizing antibodies for the remaining patients are expected to be released later.
“We still have a long way to go, obviously,” Fauci said Friday. “There are so many things that need to be done. We will soon enter a three-trial phase probably in early summer, sometime in July.”
Correction: White House Health Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke with CNBC on Friday. An earlier version incorrectly made the day.