Coronavirus: Dr Fauci claims bars are ‘really not good’ amid a surge of cases in US

‘We need to emphasise the responsibility that we have both as individuals and as part of a societal effort to end the epidemic’

James Crump
Thursday 02 July 2020 22:07
Going to a bar is the most dangerous thing you can do right now says Dr Fauci

Dr Anthony Fauci has claimed that people going to bars is “bad news” amid a rise in coronavirus cases across the US.

The chief infectious disease expert, who is leading the US response to the pandemic, told a Senate Committee hearing on Wednesday that going to a bar is a bad idea.

“Bars, really not good. Really not good,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told the committee.

“Congregation at a bar, inside, is bad news. We really got to stop that right now,” he added.

Bars were closed in states across the US earlier in the year, in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19 but after they reopened in some areas in May and June, cases started to rise.

At least 107 people were reported to have contracted the coronavirus at a bar in Lansing, Michigan last week, and in Jacksonville, Florida, a woman and her 15 friends all tested positive for Covid-19, after visiting one, according to Business Insider.

The US has seen a dramatic rise in coronavirus cases over the last couple of weeks, after numerous states eased their lockdown restrictions.

On Wednesday, the US announced its highest daily total of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, with 50,700 cases recorded.

Florida, Texas and Arizona have been badly affected, and all recorded their highest daily rise in Covid-19 cases multiple times over the last few weeks.

In reaction to the rise in cases, the three states closed bars for the second time, after reopening them in May and June with a capacity limit.

Texas governor Greg Abbott said he was pausing any further reopening of the state’s economy, as “it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars”.

Dr Fauci said he was concerned about the three states, alongside California, as they are currently recording “more than 50% of the new infections” in the US.

He added: “We are now having 40-plus-thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around, and so I am very concerned.”

Speaking at the hearing on Wednesday, Dr Fauci said that people need to continue socialising but must take responsibility for the way they do it.

“I think we need to emphasise the responsibility that we have both as individuals and as part of a societal effort to end the epidemic — that we all have to play a part in that.”

Dr Fauci said that the American public is not going to “tolerate not being able to do the things they enjoy,” but reiterated that states need to open up carefully.

“We should not look at the public health endeavours as being an obstruction to opening up. We should look at it as a vehicle to opening up,” he said.

“We’ve got to be able to get people to get out and enjoy themselves within the safe guidelines that we have,” Dr Fauci said. “Make public health work for you as opposed to against you.”

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 2.6 million people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 128,104.

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