Since March, Dr. Anthony Fauci has advocated for extensive, nationwide lockdowns in order to slow the spread of Wuhan coronavirus. As other members of the White House Coronavirus Taskforce have worked toward balancing reopening the economy while continuing to combat the virus, Fauci has argued Americans may have to stay in their homes until a vaccine is developed. As data has shown lockdowns don't necessarily work to stop the spread of the disease, he's changed his opinion.
On whether people should be able attend church services, Fauci has offered all kinds of specific and detailed advice.
As states around the country begin to ease stay-at-home orders, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said churches should adopt “common sense” measures to protect worshippers and the wider community, like requiring masks, practicing social distancing and prohibiting singing.
Regarding the distribution of Communion, he said, “I think for the time being, you just gotta forestall that.”
Churches should “limit the number of people, so that you don’t have people in the pews right next to each other,” he said. Those gathered should “absolutely” wear masks, Dr. Fauci said.
"If the priest is on the altar, separated by 30, 40, 50 feet, you know, I wouldn't think it was absolutely necessary to [use masks],” he said. “But the people who are within six, 10 feet of each other really need to."
In addition, singing should be discouraged, Dr. Faucis said, because it dramatically increases the distance that droplets travel, adding to the possibility of spreading infection.
But when asked during testimony on Capitol Hill Friday morning whether the government should limit the number of people at leftists protests and riots, as has been done with churches and businesses, Fauci refused to comment and only made broad statements about the dangers of crowds.
"Do protests increase the spread of the virus? I think I can make a general statement," Fauci said. "I'm not in a position to determine what government can do in a forceful way."
"It's a simple question doctor, should government limit the protestors?" Congressman Jim Jordan asked.
"I'm not going to opine on limiting anything, I'm telling you what is the danger," Fauci said. "You should stay away from crowds."
Can’t go to church.— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 31, 2020
Can’t go to work.
Can’t go to school.
Even Dr. Fauci says protesting is dangerous.
But Democrats encourage people to riot and protest in the streets. pic.twitter.com/78Dyjkt6D6
Local government leaders in cities where mass protests and riots have taken place in recent months have acknowledged the gatherings contributed to the spread of the disease.
Several big-city mayors and top officials are acknowledging that weeks of anti-police protests and riots may have contributed to surging coronavirus rates, weeks after Democrats and even some epidemiologists openly encouraged Black Lives Matter allies to demonstrate in the streets.
In public statements and interviews with Fox News this weekend, officials in Los Angeles, Seattle and Miami-Dade County, Fla., have indicated that some link between protests and new cases was at least possible. Still, many officials declined to comment when contacted by Fox News this weekend, and others – including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's office – disputed that the protests had caused any issue.