Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, warned Friday that stay-at-home orders that are intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus could end up causing “irreparable damage” if they are imposed for too long.
“I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go,” Fauci said during an interview with CNBC.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said "now is the time, depending upon where you are and what your situation is, to begin to seriously look at reopening the economy, reopening the country to try to get back to some degree of normal.”
Fauci warned states not to reduce social-distancing measures too quickly, advising they must take “very significant precautions.”
“In general, I think most of the country is doing it in a prudent way,” he said. “There are obviously some situations where people might be jumping over that. I just say please proceed with caution if you’re going to do that.”
Earlier this month, Fauci warned senators that areas that disregard government guidelines in reopening their economies risk "triggering an outbreak you may not be able to control."
Separately, Fauci said on Friday that he had reviewed data on Moderna's (MRNA) - Get Report coronavirus vaccine candidate and found that "it is really quite promising." He also noted, however, that full data have not been peer-reviewed.
Moderna's vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, was seen as promising following the release of some early test results, sending its stock surging.
But the possible vaccine has come under scrutiny following an article in STAT News where experts noted that the company released only limited data about the vaccine study results.