By LAURAN NEERGAARD and RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert issued a blunt warning Tuesday that cities and states could “turn back the clock” and see more COVID-19 deaths and economic damage alike if they lift coronavirus stay-at-home orders too fast — a sharp contrast as President Donald Trump pushes to right a free-falling economy.
“There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control,” Dr. Anthony Fauci warned a Senate committee and the nation as more than two dozen states have begun to lift their lockdowns as a first step toward economic recovery.
A recent Associated Press review determined that 17 states did not meet a key White House benchmark for loosening restrictions — a 14-day downward trajectory in new cases or positive test rates.
“If we are able to get masks to everybody in the White House, I hope we can get masks to every nursing home employee who needs it,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., who also asked why those vulnerable populations were having a hard time getting tested when employees in contact with Trump get a daily test.
The White House recently recommended that states test all nursing home residents and staff within the next two weeks.