President Trump’s top doctor on the White House coronavirus task force has pushed back against protesters demonstrating against stay-at-home orders, warning that the US economy won’t recover until COVID-19 is “under control.”
“This is something that is hurting from the standpoint of economics,” Fauci acknowledged during an appearance on ABC‘s “Good Morning America,” in comments which sharply contrast with those by President Trump, who has encouraged the protests, Bloomberg reports.
“Unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery economically is not going to happen,” Fauci added. “So what you do if you jump the gun and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you’re going to set yourself back.“
“Clearly this is something that this is hurting …. but unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery, economically, is not going to happen.” — NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci on protests against stay-at-home orders. pic.twitter.com/n7x3cunEAm
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 20, 2020
Fauci added that while it can be “painful” to follow federal guidelines regarding a phased re-opening, it will “backfire” if done too soon.
Protests have erupted in Michigan, Minnesota, Texas and other states demanding that governors lift strict social distancing policies that have battered the U.S. economy. Some demonstrators have called for Fauci’s firing.
Trump has encouraged the protests, tweeting that protesters should “liberate” Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia. The president said Sunday he watched footage of the crowded protests, called them “orderly” and said people “were all six feet apart.” –Bloomberg
According to Trump, people on both sides – including state governors, have gone “too far.”
“Some of the things that happened are maybe not so appropriate,” he said.