New cases of the coronavirus are certain to arise when restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the virus are eased, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert for the US. But Fauci said Sunday on CNN that the economy in parts of the country could have a “rolling reentry” as early as next month, provided health authorities can quickly identify and isolate people who will inevitably be infected, the AP reports. Fauci also said he “can't guarantee" that it will be safe for Americans to vote in person on Election Day, Nov. 3. When asked on CNN if earlier action on social distancing and “stay at home” policies could have saved lives, Fauci responded in part: “It’s very difficult to go back and say that. I mean, obviously, you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives. Obviously, no one is going to deny that. But what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated.”
President Trump, who has been chafing at criticism that he didn't do enough early on to fight the virus, later retweeted a tweet that referenced Fauci's comments and said it was “Time to #FireFauci." The president again pointed to his decision in late January to restrict travel from China, writing, “Sorry Fake News, it’s all on tape. I banned China long before people spoke up.” The tweet was one of several that Trump posted on Sunday that defended his handling of the outbreak and blamed others for missteps. As for Fauci, he said rather than flipping a switch to reopen the entire country, a gradual process will be required based on the status of the pandemic in various parts of the US and the availability of rapid, widespread testing. In some places, he said, rolling reentry might occur as soon as May. But whenever restrictions ease, Fauci said, “we know that there will be people who will be getting infected. I mean, that is just reality." Social distancing guidelines from Trump are set to expire April 30.
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