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Fauci warns against removing COVID restrictions too soon


Chief White House medical advisor Anthony Fauci warned state leaders on Sunday, March 14 against easing their COVID-19 restrictions, as reported by CNBC. Appearing on two-morning news programs, Fauci pointed to a spike in coronavirus cases in Europe as evidence that ending public health precautions too soon could extend the pandemic.

“Don’t spike the ball on the five-yard line. Wait until you get into the end zone. We are not in the end zone yet,” Fauci said on “Meet the Press.”

Easing restrictions too quickly led some European countries seeing a third wave of COVID-19 cases, Fauci said on FOX News Sunday. “They thought they were home free and they weren’t and now they are seeing an increase,” he added. “If you wait just a bit longer to give the vaccine program a chance to increase the protection in the community, then it makes pulling back much less risky.”

According to CNBC, several countries in Europe, including Germany, Italy and Poland, have seen significant spikes in COVID cases, while Slovakia and the Czech Republic are reporting some of the world’s greatest number of fatalities from the virus. Last week, German public health officials reported a 20 percent increase in new COVID cases over the space of seven days. The wave in new cases comes at a time when Germany is also facing high unemployment and flagging retail sales.

Germany, like some US states, recently began lifting quarantine restrictions. “We have very clear indications for the fact that the third wave has already begun in Germany,” RKI head Lothar Wieler told reporters in Geneva. “I am very worried.” Wieler stressed that people need to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Last week, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development called for governments to increase the pace of their inoculation efforts to ensure economic recovery. “Speed is of the essence,” OECD secretary-general Angel Gurría said in a news release. “There is no room for complacency. Vaccines must be deployed faster and globally. This will require better international cooperation and coordination than we have seen up to now.”



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