Fauci warns protesters about dangers of ending lockdowns prematurely: 'It's going to backfire'

Brendan Morrow

Dr. Anthony Fauci is warning about the dangers of reopening the United States too quickly in a message to those protesting stay-at-home orders.

Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of President Trump's coronavirus task force, appeared on Good Morning America on Monday after protests in some cities against stay-at-home orders; at one in Texas, video captured protesters calling for Fauci to be fired. Polls, however, have found that more Americans are worried about restrictions being loosened too soon than not soon enough.

Asked for his message to those protesting, Fauci told ABC, "The message is that clearly this is something that is hurting from the standpoint of economics ... but unless we get the virus under control, the real recovery, economically, is not going to happen."

Fauci went on to stress the importance of a gradual reopening.

"If you jump the gun, and go into a situation where you have a big spike, you're going to set yourself back," he said. "So as painful as it is to go by the careful guidelines of gradually phasing into a reopening — it's going to backfire. That's the problem."

These comments come after President Trump on Friday appeared to express support for stay-at-home protesters in some states on Twitter. During a White House briefing on Sunday, Trump said those protesting stay-at-home orders have "cabin fever" and "want their life back."

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