While many of us tuned into the Senate hearing to watch Dr. Anthony Fauci go full Denzel at the end of Training Day and threaten to put cases on all you motherfuckers (fine, maybe I was the only one who was hoping that Dr. Fauci would go full Tekashi 6ix9ine and snitch on everyone in the White House), in the end, the top infectious-disease expert just gave us more of what we already know.
On Tuesday, Dr. Fauci warned Congress that prematurely reopening some states could cause more outbreaks, considering that the world is struggling with the coronavirus, aka the Thanos of infectious diseases.
Among the dangers of reopening economies too quickly without precautions in place, Fauci outlined:
- The risk is that reopening too soon, without widespread testing and contact tracing measures, will trigger outbreaks that governments may not be able to control.
- New hot spots could lead not only to unnecessary suffering and deaths but also set back attempts to revive local economies.
- Even though more than 100 potential vaccines are under development, “there’s no guarantee that the vaccine is actually going to be effective,” or worse could backfire and strengthen the virus.
The entire hearing was weird AF. First off, Dr. Fauci gave remote testimony since he’s self quarantining because the White House is a goddamn coronavirus locker room, so his entire testimony looked like it was being done in his home office. All of the Congress members were wearing masks that they had to pull down when asking questions, and one white Republican guy, whose name I didn’t care to remember, had a beard and looked like a disheveled creepy mechanic on a rural stretch of road in a town you didn’t mean to end up in.
Oh, and the virus, the one that everyone gathered to talk about, hasn’t slowed a bit in the U.S., having infected more than “1.3 million people and killing at least 80,684 as of Tuesday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University,” CNBC reports.
Yet and still, the president and his Republican cronies are trying to open the country back up because well, who cares if people die, we need to save the economy!
“What I’ve expressed then and again is my concern that if some areas, cities, states, what have you, jump over those various checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently, my concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks,” Fauci testified at a hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, CNBC reports.
Dr. Fauci also noted that the only way to hopefully stop the spread is with a vaccine and added that a vaccine wouldn’t be ready until next school year.
“Even at the top speed we’re going, we don’t see a vaccine playing in the ability of individuals to get back to school this term,” he said and even then he warned: “there’s no guarantee that the vaccine is actually going to be effective.”
CNN notes that Democrats pressed Fauci and other officials who joined the Zoom hearing that there appears to be a large “disconnect between the President’s comments and the recommendations of public health experts.”
“The fact of the matter is, President Trump has been more focused on fighting against the truth, than fighting this virus—and Americans have sadly paid the price,” said Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the committee.
And Republicans were all, “Hey, quit it with the finger pointing unless we are doing it then it’s fine and also, Obama!”
The most shocking moment came when Utah Sen. Mitt Romney grew a pair of ovaries and challenged Trump and his White House for celebrating testing.
Romney pointed to the “the administration’s track record, questioning the administration’s touting of conducting more tests than South Korea, noting the U.S. lag in tests earlier this year and South Korea’s COVID-19 death toll remaining under 300, compared to more than 80,000 in the US,” CNN reports.
“I find our testing record nothing to celebrate whatsoever,” Romney said. “The fact is their test numbers are going down, down, down now because they don’t have the kind of outbreak now—ours are going up, up, up because they have to.”
In short, we are fucked.