Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday came close to recommending all bars and restaurants be temporarily closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and advisor to the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that “Americans should be prepared they’re going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing.”
He also said a national shutdown, with people staying home from work and all social activities, would be in the best interest of combatting COVID-19.
When asked directly if that meant closing bars and restaurants, Fauci said, “Obviously, you’re going to have people go to restaurants anyway, but for the most part, and particularly if I can say this, this is particularly appropriate and relevant for people at the high risk: the elderly and those who have underlying conditions, right now should really hunker down.” (RELATED: Prison Riots Leave 6 Dead After Italy Bans Visits Amid Coronavirus)
When asked about closing schools, the doctor insisted that “you always want to be ahead of the curve. The golden rule I say is that when you think you’re doing too much, you’re probably doing enough or not enough.”
Fauci emphasized the need to avoid complacency but said it is sometimes necessary to ask “how far ahead of the curve you want to be … I like to be criticized when I say ‘oh, you’re being too overreactive.’ That’s good for me.”
Fauci was also asked about ordering a 14-day “national shutdown to slow this [virus] down.” (RELATED: US Surgeon General Tells Media To Stop Sniping At Trump Over Coronavirus: ‘No More Bickering … No More Finger Pointing)
“You know, I would prefer as much as we possibly could. I think we should really be overly aggressive and get criticized for overreacting,” he added.
Fauci said he has made these views known to the Trump administration.
“Is it getting pushback or are they slowly getting there?” host Chuck Todd asked him.
“In fairness, they listen and they generally go with what we say.”