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Fauci doesn't think U.S. headed for 'national lockdown' in response to coronavirus surge

Though Fauci doesn't expect a national lockdown, he anticipates the possibility of such an austere measure at state and local levels.

Anthony Fauci
Anthony Fauci
(AL DRAGO/Getty)
Updated: November 16, 2020 - 9:38am

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States' top infectious disease expert, says the country won't go into a "national lockdown," despite the surging number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. However, he anticipates the possibility of such an austere measure at state and local levels.

"We're not going to get a national lockdown," Fauci said Sunday on CNN. "I think that's very clear. But I think what we’re going to start seeing in the local levels, be they governors or mayors or people at the local level, will do ... very surgical-type of restrictions, which are the functional equivalent of a local lockdown."

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, also called for a national "double down" on public health measures including mask usage, hand washing and social distancing.

He also warned the that coronavirus numbers continuing to increase could result in more drastic measures. 

"If things really get bad and you put your foot on the pedal and yet still you have the surge, you may need to take the extra step that you’re talking about," he said.

Fauci has, in the past week, come under fire for declaring Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings unsafe this year, as he predicts Americans may not be able to return to their normal lives until mid-to-late 2021, despite the recent, hopeful news about several vaccine options that could begin being distributed prior to 2021.

"We could start getting things back to relative normal as we get into the second and third quarter of the year where people can start thinking about doing things that were too dangerous just months ago," he said. 

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