Fauci: Protests Are ‘Perfect Setup for Further Spread’ of Coronavirus

During an interview with WTOP on Friday, White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that the recent protests are “a perfect setup for further spread” of coronavirus and told people “if you can avoid the demonstration, if you can, fine. If you can’t, make sure you wear a mask.”

Fauci responded to a question on what goes through his mind when he sees crowds gathering and people being hit with tear gas and other things that cause them to cough on each other by stating, “What runs through my mind is what does every time I hear about or see the congregation of large crowds at a time and in an area — a geographic area where clearly there is active infection transmission. It’s a perfect setup for further spread of the virus in the sense of creating these blips, which might turn into some surges. So, I get very concerned, as my colleagues in public health, when they see these kinds of crowds. I mean, obviously, not only are they congregating physically close to each other. But often, when they start screaming and demonstrating, which is part of the process of demonstrating, I’m not criticizing that, but I’m saying what it’s going to be leading to is a likelihood that you might have situations where you would force the spread of infection, and that’s really of concern.”

Fauci declined to say that such a scenario is “likely. … But there certainly is a risk. I would say that with confidence, that when you have the congregation of crowds, as we’ve been seeing now. I mean, I’m here in Washington, D.C., and you look at the TV, and you see what’s going on, particularly, and the situation in which there is a lot of confusion and some — a little bit of chaos, people running back and forth, taking their masks off, being close in proximity. That absolutely poses a risk that there might be spread of infection.”

He added that people have the right to demonstrate, “but it’s a delicate balance. Because the reasons for demonstrating are valid, and yet, the demonstration itself puts one at an additional risk. So, the only thing we can do as public health officials is to keep warning people, be careful. If you are going to go out, please make sure you wear a mask, and you keep the mask on at all times. Because I’ve seen, on TV, as the demonstrations start to heat up, people might take their masks off when they’re starting to yell and scream and demonstrate. Keep your mask on. First of all, if you can avoid the demonstration, if you can, fine. If you can’t, make sure you wear a mask.”

(h/t Business Insider)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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