Vice President Mike Pence, along with Coronavirus Task Force leader, Dr. Deobrah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci, gave a press conference on the nation’s fight against COVID-19 for the first time in nearly two months on June 26. During the presser, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gave a sobering update on America’s current status.
Fauci didn’t mention any specific failed measures responsible for the recent spike in infected patients but reiterated the “We’re all in this together” campaign for continuing to fight the spread of COVID-19. Since the last coronavirus task force press conference, “More than 70K Americans have died of COVID-19,” according to NBC News White House correspondent Peter Alexander.
On Friday, Fauci announced: “We’re not going to say blame, but I’d like to get a message to the country in general. When you have an outbreak of infectious disease, it’s a dynamic process that is global. We can’t get away from that. You have a societal responsibility. If we want to end this outbreak, we have got to realize we are part of the process.
“We are either be part of the solution or part of the problem,” Fauci continued. “We are interconnected.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci: "You have an individual responsibility to yourself, but you have a societal responsibility…We can either be part of the solution or part of the problem…the only way we're going to end it is by ending it together."
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 26, 2020
Fauci admitted that coronavirus continues to be an anomaly amidst all the infectious diseases he’s studied during his career. “What we’re missing in this is something that we’ve never faced before,” Fauci said. “That a risk for you is not just isolated to you. Because if you get infected, you are part, innocently or inadvertently, of propagating the dynamic process of a pandemic.”
Fauci Said Some Areas Have ‘Opened Too Early’
While Fauci didn’t call out states by name — such as Texas, Arizona and Florida, which have has seen massive spikes in positive COVID-19 cases, as well as an uptick in hospitalizations due to complications from coronavirus — he reiterated the need to stick to the guidelines.
“We can see that some areas have done well,” Fauci said. “The areas that followed the guidelines. But some have opened too early. We have a heterogeneous epidemic.
This virus has more manifestations and differential severity than any I’ve seen.”
Critical point from Dr. Fauci at today’s task force brief- every person who gets #coronavirus on average infects AT LEAST one other person. So choosing not to social distance or wear a mask isn’t just about you- you’ll likely infect (and could kill) someone else.
Wear a 😷! 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/yrgss1NUG7
— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) June 26, 2020
“The majority of those getting infected now are young people,” Fauci continued. “Many are out enjoying themselves, understandably. But realize when you do that, you are part of a process: if you get infected, you will infect someone else.”
Fauci encouraged citizens not to get lazy following the COVID-19 guidelines and pressed upon the importance of social distancing. “Ultimately, you will infect someone who’s vulnerable,” if you don’t, he said. “That may be somebody’s grandmother, grandfather, an uncle who’s on chemotherapy, an aunt who’s on radiation or chemotherapy, or a child who has leukemia.”
Fauci Entered ‘Modified Quarantine’ in Early May & Continues to Wear a Mask in Public
On May 9, Fauci, 79, took his own precautionary advice and entered what he referred to as “modified quarantine” after potential exposure to the virus. Fauci said he would work from home and continue to work and do interviews via video conference calls for the next 14 days. He said he would also wear a mask while outside his home and only go to the National Institutes of Health if he would be the only person in the office.
Like most White House staffers who are regularly near President Donald Trump, Fauci was to be tested for coronavirus every day. Fauci noted that he had tested negative the day before entering “modified quarantine” and said that if he needed to go to the White House, he would take every appropriate precaution.
During the press conference on June 26, Fauci and Birx both wore masks until it was their turn to speak at the podium. Pence didn’t wear a mask at any point during the presser.