Anthony Fauci: Restricting domestic travel is on the table
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, on Thursday confirmed they are eyeing potential restrictions on domestic travel within the United States.
“We look at that literally every day,” Dr. Fauci said on “CBS This Morning.” “It really depends on what city you’re talking about and from where you are coming. So this is something that you’re absolutely correct is on the table and is discussed.”
President Trump on Wednesday had said he’s looking at potentially limiting some air travel between coronavirus “hot spots,” though Mr. Trump said it could get to a point where you’re “clamping down” on a much-needed industry.
Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the U.S. coronavirus response coordinator, delivered sobering projections earlier this week showing that between 100,000 and 240,000 people in the United States could die as a result of the virus even if people practice proper social distancing techniques.
“It’s within our power to modify those numbers,” Dr. Fauci said on Thursday. “If you really push hard on mitigation and data comes in that tells you you’re doing better than the model, you can modify the model.”
Another major issue amid the pandemic has been cruise ships stranded at sea, including ships with sick passengers suspected of being having COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci said passengers trapped on the ships should “absolutely” be let off.
“First of all, you have to take care of the people who are ill — you just have an obligation to do that,” he said.
Dr. Fauci said people who are not infected need to quickly get off the ships.
“There are both Americans and people from other countries, so we’ve got to get the Americans off and we’ve got to get the people from the other countries safely back to their own country in cooperation with the responsible country,” he said. “But this is absolutely necessary to do before you get further spread of the infection.”
Dr. Fauci is one of the leading faces of the federal coronavirus response and officials are beefing up his security amid the public attention.
He was asked if he feels pressure to get things right.
“It’s my job — this is the life I’ve chosen and I’m doing it. I mean, obviously there’s a lot of pressure — I would be foolish to deny that — but that’s what I do. I’ve been through crises like this before,” Dr. Fauci said.