Prominent US public health adviser Dr Anthony Fauci appeared on Sunday to confirm a bombshell New York Times report which said he and other Trump administration officials recommended the implementation of physical distancing to combat the coronavirus in February, but were rebuffed for almost a month.
Asked on CNN’s State of the Union why the administration did not act when he and other officials advised, Fauci said: “You know … as I have said many times, we look at it from a pure health standpoint. We make a recommendation. Often, the recommendation is taken. Sometimes, it’s not.
“…It is what it is. We are where we are right now.”
More than 530,000 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the US, with almost 21,000 deaths. Officials currently expect a death toll of about 60,000 by August.
CNN host Jake Tapper asked if Fauci thought “lives could have been saved if social distancing, physical distancing, stay-at-home measures had started [in the] third week of February, instead of mid-March”.