Dr. Anthony Fauci, everyone’s favorite infectious disease expert and one of the primary architects behind the nation's shutdown that's bankrupted businesses and left millions unemployed and struggling to pay their bills, now says he’s “totally in favor” of reopening the U.S. economy to avoid utter economic calamity "- provided it can be done “in the proper way," of course.
Speaking with CNBC Friday, Fauci said the country "can't stay locked down," warning of "irreparable damage" and "unintended consequences" if the nation stays closed for much longer.
"It is for that reason why the guidelines are being put forth so that the states and the cities can start to reenter and reopen," he said.
"I don't want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go," he said.
"Now is the time, depending upon where you are or what your situation is, is to begin seriously looking at reopening the economy — reopening the country — to try to get back to some degree of normal. I'm totally in favor of that if done in the proper way and appropriate setting," Fauci said.
Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who quickly became the public face of the White House’s coronavirus response, still maintained that when it comes to the original shutdown, the country “had to do that” at the time to prevent the outbreak from spreading. Nearly 40 million Americans have now filed for unemployment, most of them having lost their jobs when businesses, schools and other facilities were forced by the government to close their doors in late March.