Although social distancing efforts have been observed as being successful in slowing the spread of the coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned of a resurgence of infections should the U.S. relax its social distancing practices prematurely.
“We are doing a very good job on mitigation, on the physical separation, the adherence to the guidelines,” Fauci told CBS This Morning on Thursday, but warned that the country must “continue in many respects to redouble our efforts at the mitigation of physical separation in order to keep those numbers down and hopefully even get them lower than what you’ve heard recently.”
While Fauci has predicted that it is “very likely” the U.S. can return to relatively normal living situations around April 30, the date which the federal government extended social distancing guidelines to, the disease expert did warn of parts of the country that will likely reopen much more slowly. Fauci pointed to New York as a state which will likely take far longer to reopen.
“New York City, the terrible ordeal that they’ve gone through, is very different from some of the places in the middle of the country or the mountain regions,” Fauci said. “It’s going to be differential and gradual depending upon where you are and where the burden of infection is.”
As of Thursday, the current number of COVID-19 cases in New York were greater than that of any other country in the world. Gov. Andrew Cuomo compared the loss of life with the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, saying the outbreak has affected the city with “the same evil” as those attacks.