Fauci: States with severe coronavirus outbreaks “should seriously look at shutting down”

Anthony Fauci on Wednesday told a Wall Street Journal podcast that states experiencing a significant uptick in new coronavirus cases “should seriously look at shutting down.”

The big picture: The comments come as states like Florida, Texas and Arizona have become new hotspots for the virus, with soaring rates of infections and rising deaths.

  • While those states have taken steps to pause their economic reopenings, like closing down bars, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has said he will not reinstate restrictions or move to again close businesses that have reopened.

What he’s saying: “Any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down. It’s not for me to say because each state is different.”

  • Fauci said he and the White House’s coronavirus task force has been “in contact frequently” with public health officials in those states.
  • He blamed a “let it rip” mentality on the surge in cases, saying, “We are all in this together. … I’ve been trying to stress that by getting infected or not really caring if you’re getting infected, you will inadvertently infect someone. … So to say that it’s benign is not true.”
U.S. coronavirus updates
Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Thirty-three states saw their caseloads increase this week, continuing a scary nationwide trend that’s been getting worse since mid-June.

The big picture: As infections soar, deaths will inevitably follow. Florida on Thursday reported a record 120 deaths from the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours.Study: Stay-at-home orders may have averted up to 370,000 coronavirus deaths

As many as 250,000 to 370,000 deaths may have been averted between March and May 15 as a result of the statewide stay-at-home orders enacted to mitigate spread of the coronavirus, a study published Thursday in Health Affairs projects.

Why it matters: Lockdown restrictions have largely been lifted, but the coronavirus pandemic keeps getting worse all across the country. New modeling suggests the outbreaks could lead to more than 200,000 deaths by the end of year.