Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is the most recognized voice in the U.S. on the coronavirus response. He is also a familiar face in the country for his frequent appearances at Donald Trump’s press conferences.
On many occasions, he has been a counterpoint to the President’s impetus to celebrate the battle against the coronavirus as a victory or to push for treatments unproven by science. On one occasion, Trump went so far as to share a Twitter message from a journalist on his string demanding the expert’s dismissal.
On Monday, Fauci was the star of the medical experts’ appearance before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. In the midst of the widespread lifting of restrictions in the U.S., with more than half of the states in the process of reopening and most in the making, the country’s medical authority on infectious diseases set a tone that contrasts with the messages being spread by Trump and many of his Republican allies. “The consequences can be very serious,” Fauci warned of the states’ revival without any clear indication of their ability to deal with further outbreaks.
The White House coronavirus working group, of which Fauci is a member, has established a series of parameters for the gradual reopening of the states, which have to do with a sustained decrease in cases and hospitalizations, the existence of a robust hospital infrastructure and the capacity to carry out widespread testing and follow-up of infections.