White House coronavirus expert Dr Tony Fauci today said lives could have been saved if US had been shut down earlier, The Sun reports.
Speaking on CNN, the immunologist said the US could start to re-open next month, but warned of a second deadly wave in the fall.
“We make a recommendation, often the recommendation is taken, sometimes it’s not,” Fauci said.
During the interview, Fauci revealed that the government had been advised to begin social distancing measures in February.
President Trump announced plans to roll out “self-isolating” in mid March.
“We look at it from a pure health standpoint,” Fauci said. “We make a recommendation, often the recommendation is taken, sometimes it’s not.
“But it is what it is.”
Fauci was then asked if lives could have been saved if stay at home measures had started in February, rather than almost a month later.
“Obviously you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier you could’ve saved lives, obviously,” he replied. “No-one is going to deny that. But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then.”
The US has overtaken Italy for the most coronavirus deaths reported worldwide.
There are now at least 530,830 confirmed cases in the country, and 20,614 deaths.