Fauci warns of easing public health measures as summer approaches
Jose Rivera with wife Stephanie Rivera watches their nieces and nephews Ariel, Sophia, and Ignacio Arminta, then visits Santa Monica Pier while people take advantage of the warm weather during the COVID-19 spring break in Southern California on Monday. Santa Monica Pier and Boardwalk on Monday, March 29, 2021 in Santa Monia, CA.
Al Seib | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
WASHINGTON – The White House Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned Monday that Americans should remain vigilant and comply with public health measures as the warmer summer months approach.
“You may remember a little over a year ago when we were looking for summer to save ourselves from waves. It was actually the opposite,” Fauci said during a coronavirus briefing at the White House.
“We saw some significant waves over the summer. I think we shouldn’t even think about relying on the weather to get rid of whatever we’re in right now,” he added.
Fauci also said Monday that Americans should continue to receive both doses of the Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines, despite a recent study suggesting that only one dose might be enough.
Fauci previously warned that while the Biden government is ramping up vaccine production and continuing to deliver record numbers of vaccine doses, the nation is still fighting the coronavirus.
“When I hear myself completely withdrawing from public health measures and stop saying masks, nothing like that, it’s a risky business,” Fauci said during an interview with Meet the Press last month.
“Don’t spike the ball on the 5-yard line. Wait until you get to the end zone. We’re not in the end zone yet,” he said, adding that early public health withdrawals are adding to the pandemic could extend.
Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that Americans continue to refrain from travel due to coronavirus cases across the country.
“We know we have a growing number of cases right now. I would speak out against general travel altogether,” said CDC director Rochelle Walensky last week. “We currently do not recommend travel, especially for those who have not been vaccinated,” she added.
Over the past month, a number of states across the country have eased restrictions to varying degrees.
The Arizona governor ended capacity restrictions on businesses but said they must continue to need masks. Texas also announced a return to full capacity companies, but dropped its mask mandate. The Alabama governor said the state will lift its mask mandate after April 9. South Carolina lifted the state’s mask mandate in government buildings, but recommended that restaurants continue to require face coverings.
In California, theme parks, outdoor sports, and live stadium events can restart on April 1st with reduced capacity and mandatory masks.
Mississippi also announced last week that companies could operate at full capacity and dropped the state’s mask mandate.
Last month, in his first prime-time address, President Joe Biden urged Americans to continue to keep a clear eye on the disease through public health measures. Biden also set a goal for Americans to gather in small groups to celebrate July Fourth.