With vaccine approval just around the corner in the U.S., it may seem like we’re closing in on controlling the spread of COVID. However, the U.S. is still in crisis: The country continues to break its own records for the number of COVID cases and deaths reported every day. Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), says there is one thing we must all do in order to stop the spread of COVID, and it’s not related to the vaccine. Keep reading for Fauci’s insights, and for states that have excelled at containment, Dr. Fauci Says These 2 States Have Had the Best COVID Response.
During the 2020 Bloomberg American Health Summit on Dec. 9, Fauci told BBC World News’ Katty Kay that the first step to flattening the COVID curve is for everyone to acknowledge that there’s a problem. “I think everybody uniformly needs to admit that we have a real problem. We’ve got to own the problem,” Fauci said. “If you don’t own the problem, you’re never going to fix the problem.”
Fauci pointed out one of the biggest issues the U.S. is facing in the fight against COVID is the levels of denial about the virus that some Americans are in. Even those that don’t deny the virus altogether sometimes downplay the risks associated with it, and that’s where the danger lies. According to Fauci, too many people think COVID is either “not a big deal” or “a hoax.”
To those people, Fauci said, “It’s real. The numbers are absolutely real.” The nation’s leading infectious disease expert told Kay that America is facing a “serious issue,” given that we’re continuing to experience record-breaking numbers as the holiday season draws closer and people begin to travel and gather more.
Of course, asking people to acknowledge the problem is not the only advice Fauci has given to help combat the spread of COVID. Here are five other recommendations Fauci has made, and for another urgent message, Dr. Fauci Says These 2 Places Need to Close Right Now.
Wear a mask.
Fauci so frequently implores people to wear a mask that the comment it topped the 2020 “Yale Book of Quotations.” According to Axios, Fauci first told Americans to wear a mask back on May 21 during a CNN interview, and he’s been asking people to heed his advice ever since. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Keep your distance.
Fauci has advocated for the benefit of social distancing since the early days of the pandemic, and he says we won’t be saying goodbye to it for some time. While on CNN’s State of the Union on Nov. 15, Fauci said he recommends people continue to wear masks and practice social distancing even after they are vaccinated. And for more analysis from the COVID expert, Dr. Fauci Says This Is When You “Don’t Have Any Choice” But to Lock Down.
Avoid indoor bars.
Indoor bars are especially risky because people have to take their masks off to drink, and patrons can easily lose their inhibitions and forget to adhere to other essential precautions.
“You’ve got to look very carefully at things like bars, [which] are a really important place of spreading of infection. There’s no doubt about that,” Fauci said on MSNBC on Sept. 17. “That becomes particularly important if you happen to be in an area where there’s a high degree of community spread.”
Although Fauci has been telling people to avoid gathering in large groups for months, he has gotten more stern about this advice as the holiday season has rolled in. Fauci is recommending that people avoid gathering on holidays, and limit celebrations to no more than 10 people. And for more on this warning, Dr. Fauci Says This One Thing Could Spread COVID More Than Anything Yet.
Keep your hands clean.
One of the very first precautionary directives the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Fauci put out was advising people to maintain proper hand hygiene, which entails washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Keeping your hands clean remains as important as ever. And for a recent misstep, Dr. Fauci Just Apologized for Saying This About the COVID Vaccine.