Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was on Meet the Press this past Sunday with the NBC network to explain how North Carolina, South Carolina, and other states easing restrictions may not have been a good idea.
We had a graphic showing about a dozen states, some, like North Carolina, allowing more fans in the stands. We had more indoor bars being open and things like this, host Chuck Todd started to ask Fauci. You and Dr. Walensky were like ‘not yet.’ Why not yet? Why is this week not the week yet to ease restrictions?
Dr. Fauci responded back:
It’s really too premature right now to be pulling back too much. I’m concerned that we’re still at that level of 70,000, and when people start then pulling back on mitigation methods and mitigation activities, you have the risk.
On Friday, North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper, signed a new executive order which allows fans back in the stands more access to bars, restaurants, and gums. His executive order also lifted a statewide curfew and enabled bars to maintain a 30% indoor capacity.
We’ve been in this situation before. When you start to see a decline in number of cases, if you prematurely lift the restrictions, we have a few examples of the rebound back. Our baseline of daily infections now, even though it’s way down from where it was, 300,000-plus per day, is down to around 70,000. That baseline’s too high, fauci said.
As of Monday afternoon, North Carolina’s rate of infection was the lowest since mid-November with 2,291 new cases and 24 deaths. The Tar Heel State has recorded over 863,000 cases and 11,241 deaths over the past year.