Dr. Anthony Fauci said there are two habits many Americans have changed in an attempt to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that he believes should stay changed.
“When you gradually come back, you don’t jump into it with both feet,” the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told The Wall Street Journal’s podcast, The Journal. “You say, y’know, what are the things you could still do and still approach normal?”
Then, Fauci gave two examples.
“One of them is absolute compulsive hand-washing,” he said. “The other is you don’t ever shake anybody’s hands. That’s clear.”
Fauci doesn’t just mean now or in the weeks and months after the pandemic, but possibly forever.
“I don’t think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you,” he said. “Not only would it be good to prevent coronavirus disease, it probably would decrease instances of influenza dramatically in this country.”
President Donald Trump is likely on board with that. Trump, a self-described germaphobe, hates the practice, calling it “disgusting” long before the pandemic. Last month, Trump predicted that “maybe people aren’t going to be shaking hands anymore” and said Fauci, in particular, would be pleased by the end of the greeting.
“He was saying that the flu would cut down, the regular flu would be cut down by quite a bit if we didn’t do that, if we didn’t shake hands,” Trump said.
However, Trump made headlines last month when he continued to shake people’s hands at a news conference to discuss his administration’s steps to combat the pandemic.
Listen to the full podcast interview with Fauci here.
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