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That is being discussed really very actively. We were discussing it actively today in the task force and I can assure you, it's going to be on the agenda tomorrow, given the fact that we know that asymptomatic people are clearly transmitting infection, it just makes commonsense that it's not a bad idea to do that.
> Washington( CNN) Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Tuesday evening took some direct shots at Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the President's coronavirus task force.Specifically, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took issue with comments that Anthony Fauci had made earlier in the day during a Senate hearing, when Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick suggested that some states had reopened too fast and skipped some guidelines in the process.Texas was among the first states to begin reopening in early May but Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has recently reversed course after a spike in coronavirus cases.In defending Texas's reopening strategy, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick claimed that.
One of the problems we face in United States is that unfortunately, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are -- for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable -- they just don't believe science and they don't believe authority, so when they see someone up in the White House, which has an air of authority to White House, who's talking about science, that there are some people who just don't believe that -- and that's unfortunate because, you know, science is truth.
What happens is that in the standard way of developing a vaccine, you don't jump to invest in the next step until you're pretty sure that the step you're in is working, given the fact that we needed to do this as quickly as possible without sacrificing safety or scientific integrity, the federal government partnered with multiple of these companies and said,' Guess what, we're going to move fast and we're going to assume we're going to be successful. And if we are, we've saved several months. And if we're not, the only thing we've lost is money. But better lose money than lose lives by delaying the vaccine.' So, right now, the initial data from the study showed that. It makes me cautiously optimistic that we can induce a response that would be protective.
But if you look at the data, now that papers have come out literally two days ago, the fact that we shut down when we did and the rest of the world did, has saved hundreds of millions of infections and millions of lives, and yet, there are those who say,' You shut down, you did destructive things by disrupting the economy.' And others say,' Well, if you save so many infections by shutting down, why didn't you shut down two weeks earlier ? You could have saved many more lives.'.
I hesitate to make any broad statements about whether it is or is not quote 'safe' for kids to come back to school, when you talk about children going back to school and their safety, it really depends on the level of viral activity and the particular area that you're talking about. What happens all too often -- understandably, but sometimes misleadingly -- is that we talk about the country as a whole in a unidimensional away.
I hesitate to make any broad statements about whether it is or is not quote' safe' for kids to come back to school, when you talk about children going back to school and their safety, it really depends on the level of viral activity, and the particular area that you're talking about. What happens all too often, understandably, but sometimes misleadingly, is that we talk about the country as a whole in a unidimensional way.
I think you're going to probably be seeing a little bit more of me and my colleagues, we've been talking with the communications people, and they realize we need to get some of this information out, particularly some of the scientific issues for which I'm predominantly responsible for, so hopefully we'll be seeing more of us, will get the opportunity to talk to you.
Right now, if you take southern Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, parts of Asia, South America and even parts of the Caribbean as areas that don't have the healthcare system to be able to respond the way one can respond in New York or L.A. or New Orleans or Chicago, we have really a moral responsibility for people throughout the world.
What I've expressed, then and again, just my concern that if some areas, cities, states or what have you, jump over those various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently - my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks.
There is certainly not a confrontational relationship between me and the President, as I've mentioned many times, I give advice and opinion based (on) evidence-based scientific information. He hears that. He respects it. He gets opinions from a variety of other people. But in no way, in my experience over the last several months, has there been any confrontational relationship between us.
You got a problem there, you know why ? Because it is likely that if four of them are positive and they've been hanging around together, that the other ones that are negative are really positive. So, I mean, if you have one outlier( only one player testing positive), I think you might get away. But once you wind up having a situation where it looks like it's spread within a team, you got a real problem. You got ta shut it down.
The discretion is given to the governors. They know their states, the mayors know their cities, so you want to give them a little wiggle room. But my recommendation is, you know, don't wiggle too much. Try as best as you can to abide by the guidelines that were very well thought out, and very well delineated, some of them are doing that, but others are taking a bit of a chance.
This could be a major outbreak. I hope not. Or it could be something that's reasonably well controlled, at the end of the day, this will ultimately go down. Hopefully we could protect the American public from any serious degree of morbidity or mortality. That's the reason why we've got to do the things that we have in our plan.
The Federal Government's going to be depending where you are in the country, the nature of the outbreak that you have already experienced, and the threat of an outbreak that you may not have experienced, the Federal Government is not going to be a light switch that we say, OK, it is now June, July or whatever, click, the light switch goes back on.
You don't want to let up at a time that's premature, but right now we are clearly looking at if we, in fact, are as successful as we hope to be over the extended 30 day period that the President announced several days ago -- namely extending the period of restrictions and guidelines to the end of April -- that if, in fact, we are successful, it makes sense to at least plan what a reentry into normality would look like, that doesn't mean we're going to do it right now.
Viruses transmit from people to people. When people are separated from each other the virus does not transmit -- it doesn't go anywhere and that's the reason why something as simple as the physical separation... that's our most important tool, but this is what we have to do. As sobering and as difficult as this is, what we are doing is making a difference so we really need to continue to do that.
We argued strongly with the President that he not withdraw those guidelines after 15 days but that he extend them, and he did listen, dr. Debbie Birx and I went into together in the Oval Office and leaned over the desk and said, here are the data, take a look. He looked at them, he understood them, and he just shook his head and said, 'I guess we've got to do it.'.
Particularly now that we're getting some inklings that there's transmission of infection from an asymptomatic person who is not coughing, who is not sneezing, who just appears well. Well, then how do you think that's happening ? it very well could be aerosol. Maybe not aerosol, you know, that goes on for hours. But even the slight aerosol in which you're talking to somebody. If that's the case, we should at least look at the data and try to make a decision about that.
We felt that if we prematurely pulled back, we would only form an acceleration or a rebound of something which would have put you behind where you were before, and that's the reason why we argued strongly with the President, that Anthony Fauci not withdraw those guidelines after 15 days, but that he extend them. And he did listen.
What we are starting to see is that there are some people who are younger, people your age - young, healthy, vigorous - who don't have any underlying conditions who are getting seriously ill, it's still a very, very small minority, but it doesn't mean that young people like yourself should say, 'I'm completely exempt from any risk of getting seriously ill,'.
You need to protect yourself because you are not completely exempt from serious illness, and you can become the vector, or the carrier of infection, where you get infected, you feel well and then you inadvertently and innocently pass it on to your grandfather, your grandmother or an uncle who is on chemotherapy for cancer.
The way it happened is that after [President Trump] made that statement [suggesting China could have revealed the discovery of a new coronavirus threeto fourmonths earlier], I told the appropriate people, it doesnt comport, because twoor threemonths earlier would have been September, the next time they sit down with him and talk about what hes going to say, they will say, By the way, Mr. President, be careful about this and dont say that. But I cant jump in front of the microphone and push him down. OK, he said it. Lets try and get it corrected for the next time.
Younger people should be concerned for two reasons. You are not immune or safe from getting seriously ill. Even though when you look at the total numbers, it's overwhelmingly weighted towards the elderly and those with underlying conditions. But the virus isn't a mathematical formula. There are going to be people who are young who are going to wind up getting seriously ill. So protect yourself.
So the good news is that we have a tool we didn't have in the West African outbreak. The sobering news is that we're not able to implement it as extensively as we want to because we don't have access to all the contacts of the contacts of the contacts, because new cases are coming in that we can't trace to any known case.
Someone who is probably a rural worker in the woods, in the forest, in the jungle gets bit by a mosquito who is infected with yellow fever but likely got it from a monkey, so it goes from animal to human, but it doesn't get into the population of Aedes aegypti, which are very frequent in the big cities like Rio de Janeiro.
There are only individual case reports of significant neurological damage to people not just the fetuses but an adult that would get infected. Things that they call meningoencephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain and the covering around the brain, spinal cord damage due to what we call myelitis, so far they look unusual, but at least we've seen them and that's concerning.
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