WASHINGTON — White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci warned Monday that Americans should continue to be vigilant and adhere to public health measures as warmer summer months approach.
“You might remember a little bit more than a year ago when we were looking for the summer to rescue us from surges. It was, in fact, the opposite,” Fauci said during a White House coronavirus briefing.
“We saw some substantial surges in the summer. I don’t think we should even think about relying on the weather to bail us out of anything we’re in right now,” he added.
Fauci has previously warned that while the Biden administration ramps up vaccine production and continues to administer a record-breaking number of vaccine doses, that the nation is still in a battle with the coronavirus.
“When I hear pulling back completely on public health measures, saying no more masks, no nothing like that, that is risky business,” Fauci said during an interview last month with “Meet the Press.”
“Don’t spike the ball on the 5-yard line. Wait until you get into the end zone. We are not in the end zone yet,” he said, adding that prematurely pulling away from public health measures could prolong the pandemic.
Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that Americans continue to hold off from traveling due to coronavirus cases nationwide.
“We know that right now we have a surging number of cases. I would advocate against general travel overall,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said last week. “We are not recommending travel at this time, especially for unvaccinated individuals,” she added.
Last month, a slew of states across the nation relaxed restrictions to varying degrees.
Arizona’s governor ended capacity limits on businesses but said they must still require masks. Texas also announced a return to full capacity businesses but dropped its mask mandate. Alabama’s governor said the state would lift its mask mandate after April 9. South Carolina lifted the state’s mask mandate in government buildings but recommended that restaurants continue to require face coverings.
California will allow theme parks, outdoor sports and live events at stadiums to restart on April 1 with reduced capacity and mandatory masks.
Mississippi also announced last week that businesses could operate at full capacity and dropped the state’s mask mandate.
Last month, President Joe Biden urged Americans in his first prime-time address to remain clear-eyed against the disease by following public health measures. Biden also set a goal for Americans to be able to gather in small groups to celebrate the Fourth of July.