DuWhite House health adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci pleaded with young people to take coronavirus seriously or risk making the ongoing pandemic worse. Fauci issued his warning while speaking with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about the pandemic.
As of Friday, the U.S. had more than 3.53 million confirmed cases while deaths from COVID-19 topped 138,000.
“You have to have responsibility for yourself but also a societal responsibility that you’re getting infected is not just you in a vacuum,” Fauci said. “You’re propagating the pandemic.”
Fauci’s comments came nearly a week after White House officials mounted a smear campaign against the nation’s top infectious disease expert, attempting to undermine his advice on curbing the pandemic, viewing it as an impediment to economic recovery. Blowback had the administration backpeddling by midweek.
Fauci’s warning comes as state officials report young people repeatedly were ignoring social distancing guidelines at bars reopening across the U.S. where reopening guidelines line reducing capacity were violated. Fauci said the median age of coronavirus patients has fallen around 15 years since the outbreak hit the U.S. in February, indicating younger people are getting sick.
“I get that,” Fauci said of young people going out as states reopen. “I was there at one point in my life. Or see people in crowds and you say well, they think they’re not doing anything that’s particularly harmful, but they might be.”
The recent surge in cases among young people has forced some states to roll back reopening plans or issue new restrictions.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday alcohol can be served only to restaurant and bar customers ordering food. Cuomo said the decision came after it was determined more than 5,000 bars and restaurants were “lax” in complying with state guidelines.
However, it was the U.S. Northeast Fauci said other states should look to emulate in how to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“As you described accurately, Mark, we do have a serious situation now. I mean, it’s a mixed bag,” Fauci said when asked how the U.S. can go about improving the situation. “There are parts of the country that are doing well, the Northeastern part, particularly the New York metropolitan area, was hit very hard.”
“I would recommend as strong as possibly can to get people to wear masks, to avoid crowds, to keep distances — outdoors always better than indoors.”