Dr. Fauci Doesn’t Understand Not Shutting Down Entire Country

Dr. Anthony Fauci is the government’s leading authority on infectious diseases. Recently, when discussing #Covid19 and shelter in place orders with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, he said, “I don’t understand why that’s not happening. As you said, the tension between federally mandated versus states rights to do what they want is something I don’t want to get into. But if you look at what is going on in this country, I do not understand why we are not doing that. We really should be.” In other words, Dr. Fauci doesn’t understand why some states haven’t issued a shelter in place order. CNN’s report on it can be read here.

His failure to understand somewhat perplexes me. After all, in less than two weeks we have had over 10 million people file for unemployment and that number is seemingly only going to rise. People are losing jobs and income due to being forced to shelter in place. The livelihoods of these people and their families are being greatly affected in a negative way. Therefore, why wouldn’t some state governments think twice about implementing orders that would result in even more individuals and families being put out of work? Homes, vehicles, apartments, etc. could all very well be lost by their citizens.

Another aspect of the situation that bears consideration, is the fact not all areas of the country have been affected equally. According to the Coronavirus Research Center at John Hopkins University, New York City has roughly 57,159 confirmed cases and about 1,584 deaths. However, Hennepin County, Minnesota’s most populated, has just 242 confirmed cases and 6 deaths. Yes, we need to be mindful of exposure all across the country and precautions must be taken. Yet, if all states issue shelter in place orders it won’t take long for our economy to crumble. Shutting down areas that have seen little to no exposure just doesn’t make sense. Especially when the reality is that doing so will cost a portion of the population their jobs, and thus their income, home, vehicle, groceries, etc. This situation needs to be addressed sensibly, taking precaution where necessary while also actively working to preserve jobs and the economy. Shutting down “non-essential” businesses and issuing shelter in place orders in every state regardless of exposure level is simply foolhardy.

My first thought is to isolate areas that have seen significant exposure, restricting travel within and out of that area in an effort to keep the virus from spreading. This can be done while still allowing the vast majority of people to go to work and maintain their income. Then perhaps those who must be quarantined can have their financial needs provided for by government, or private, welfare programs. I admit, I am no expert, and my idea may not be the best one out there. However, I can see that it is foolish to expect the entire country to be shut down and sheltered in place while maintaining a functioning economy. Especially when large portions of the country have seen little to no exposure to the coronavirus. This is why Dr. Fauci’s inability to understand why some states hesitate in issuing lock-down orders surprises me.

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