Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told CNN on Tuesday he does not understand why Americans are resistant to wearing masks and not congregating in indoor settings, saying the measures "save lives."
Fauci made his comments as the United States has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks and some state governors are reimplement lockdowns.
"More than 100,000 cases, new infections a day, approaching 200,000 a day. Where do you see those numbers go in the next several weeks?" CNN anchor Jim Sciutto asked.
"Well, they are going to go up, Jim. That’s the reason why I keep almost pleading with the American public that clearly we’re not going to have a national shutdown. We need to intensify common easy to do, relatively speaking, public health measures that are not shutting down the country, not shutting down the economy. The uniform wearing of masks, let’s get it straight. They work, use them," Fauci replied.
"The next is avoiding congregate settings, particularly indoor, keeping distance that we talk about. To the extent possible doing things outdoors preferentially to indoors and washing your hands frequently. We have to get that point across. You know vaccines are important. But the important issue is that we don’t want the extraordinary success of these two vaccines to get people to be complacent. I’ve often said help is on the way, but help is not here yet," he continued. "So one of the things we need to do is to use the success of the vaccines to get people to be motivated to hang in there a bit longer and double down on the public health measures without necessarily shutting down the country.
"You can continue to do activities which are good for the economy, but still adhering to the public health measures that we’re talking about. I just can’t understand why there’s push back against that. They’re not that difficult to do. They save lives, Jim. They save lives," he concluded.
"No question, it's in the science," Sciutto said in agreement.