Fauci: Timeline for readiness for reopening economies will vary by state

WASHINGTON — Governors across the country are preparing to eventually reopen their economies that have nearly been shut down because of the pandemic.

Boston 25 News’ Washington News Bureau spoke one-on-one with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Fauci said there isn’t a specific date for reopening that can apply to the whole country.

“Not every location, not every city state or what have you, has yet in place the capability of doing what you need to do if in fact you're going to open,” Fauci said. “Hopefully in the next couple of weeks that will be corrected but not everyone at this particular moment has that and that is the ability to identify, isolate, contact, trace, get people out of circulation who are infected and get enough testing to know where you are."

President Trump has said he believes some states may be able to lift strict social distancing measures by May 1.

Manning asked Fauci if that timeline is realistic and if it would be safe.

"We have a very big country and the dynamics of the outbreak and the infection incidents and prevalence in various regions of the country differ widely,” Fauci said. “It is entirely conceivable that by May 1 there will be some sections of the country that will be able to roll into a gradual way trying to restore normality."

“Would you say the worst is behind us?” Manning asked.

"Well I believe that the worst is behind us but these are tricky viruses,” Fauci said. “It is conceivable that we may get a second wave. The virus may dampen down a bit. It might. It might happen and it might not happen. We've got to be prepared if it does happen."

Manning asked Fauci about what life may be like after the pandemic.

“I think in the context of trying to reopen society there will be some degree of physical distancing and attention to things that we didn’t pay attention to before,” Fauci said. “Namely like handshaking, washing your hands, keeping to the extent possible. Physical distancing. I think there will be lingering amounts of that even when the infection rates go way, way down.”

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