Trump shuts down US health expert by ‘totally disagreeing’ over reopening schools
Dr Anthony Fauci, who has been one of the White House’s key health experts and an advisor throughout the coronavirus pandemic, said in a Senate testimony on Tuesday that he was concerned about the consequences of lifting lockdown restrictions too early. Dr Fauci said: “My concern is that we will start to see little spikes that will turn into outbreaks.”
States across the US are beginning to ease lockdown restrictions following the publication of federal guidelines last month.
But contact tracing in many parts of the US is limited, as is testing for asymptomatic people, the Guardian claims.
Dr Fauci added that there is a “real risk” of another outbreak, which could lead to “suffering and death” and further delay the US’ economic recovery.
And regarding schools, he said: “…we don’t know everything about this virus, and we really better be very careful particularly when it comes to children.”
He said that there are new developments regarding the effects of Covid-19 that were not previously seen from studies in China.
For example, Fauci said that “right now”, children are presenting with Covid-19 and a “very strange inflammatory syndrome.”
He described it is similar to Kawasaki syndrome – a condition that generally affects children under five years of age and is characterised by a rash, swollen glands in the neck, dry lips, red fingers and toes, and red eyes, according to the NHS.
Fauci continued: “I think we better be careful, if we are not cavalier, in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects.”
However, Trump told Fox Business that Mr Fauci “is a good person, a very good person,” but that “I totally disagree with [Fauci] on schools.”
He said: “We have to get the schools open; we have to get our country open.
“We want to do it safely, but we also want to do it as quickly as possible. We can’t keep going on like this.”
Trump cited the US travel ban against China as one of the things that he and Fauci disagreed on in the past.
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Again in the Senate hearing, Fauci said that while children “in general do much, much better than adults and the elderly”, he did not know everything about Covid-19 and is “very reserved about making broad predictions.”
The Senate discussion contained some sharp comments towards Dr Fauci made by Kentucky Republican senator Rand Paul.
Se. Paul said: “As much as I respect you, Dr Fauci, I don’t think you’re the end-all. I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision.
“We can listen to your advice, but there are people on the other side saying there’s not going to be a surge, and that we can safely open the economy.”
Sen. Paul expressed concern about keeping children out of school “for another year,” stating that children from poor backgrounds who cannot learn from home would be adversely affected.
He said it would be “a huge mistake” if the US did not reopen schools in the autumn.
In direct response to Sen. Paul’s comments, Fauci denied that he had ever “made myself out to be the end-all and only voice of this,” and said that he gives advice “according to the best scientific evidence.”
Dr Fauci is current in quarantine following positive Covid-19 tests amongst White House staff.
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