- President Donald Trump on Monday claimed that the lockdowns implemented during the coronavirus pandemic haven't reduced future infections and "inflict more harm" than they prevent.
- "Lockdowns do not prevent infection in the future — they just don't. It comes back, many times. It comes back," Trump said at his press briefing.
- Earlier on Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said certain US states that are experiencing rising infection rates and case surges should consider reimposing at least partial shutdowns.
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President Donald Trump on Monday claimed that the lockdowns implemented during the coronavirus pandemic haven't reduced future infections and "inflict more harm" than they prevent — contradicting Dr. Anthony Fauci.
"It's important for all Americans to recognize that a permanent lockdown is not a viable path toward producing the result that you want," Trump said during his coronavirus-focused press briefing, adding that new lockdowns would "ultimately inflict more harm than it would prevent."
Overwhelming evidence has shown that lockdowns around the country and the world have helped the spread of COVID-19.
Trump went on to argue that lockdowns, which involve shuttering non-essential businesses and closing schools, are designed to "buy time" for states and localities to build hospital capacity, research the virus, and develop treatments, but aren't effective in preventing future outbreaks.
"Lockdowns do not prevent infection in the future — they just don't. It comes back, many times. It comes back," he said.
Earlier on Monday, Dr. Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert who's advising Trump, said certain US states that are experiencing rising infection rates and case surges should consider reimposing at least partial shutdowns.
Fauci told the Journal of the American Medical Association on Monday that some states outside of the South and West are seeing an "insidious increase" in the percent of positive COVID-19 tests — an early warning sign that these places could soon see uncontrolled surges in the virus. Experts say these states include Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.
"You may need to pause, you may need to drop back a little bit. I don't think you necessarily have to revert to go all the way back to reclosing," Fauci told JAMA.
Fauci emphasized that it's of utmost importance to contain the virus before the fall when the influenza season begins.
Dr. Deborah Birx, another top public health expert advising the federal government, said on Sunday that the coronavirus pandemic had entered a "new phase" and reached an "extraordinarily widespread" community spread in both urban and rural areas.
Trump has undermined and publicly disagreed with Fauci on a number of issues related to the pandemic response. While the president has aggressively downplayed the threat the virus poses to Americans and resisted various efforts to mitigate the spread, he's accused Fauci of being an "alarmist" and calling for overly-extreme measures to fight COVID-19.
On Monday, Trump called Birx "pathetic" after she issued her stark warning about community spread.
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