Trumpers are dunking on him for this on social media, which I half understand. I don’t understand imputing to him some absolutist position like “don’t reopen until we have a vaccine.” That’s a caricature of his view pushed by people who want to reopen immediately and find it easier to contrast their own position with a straw man about locking down forever instead of with the federal guidelines that Trump announced last month. Remember those? Fauci contributed to them. The whole point of drafting them was to advise states on how to reopen for business.
But I understand the criticism as a matter of tone. He sounds a lot more bullish about reopening in the clip below than he did 10 days ago when he testified before the Senate. What changed since then? Surely the complexion of the epidemic hasn’t changed so dramatically across the country in 10 days that his top concern now is the “irreparable damage” we’ll face if we delay reopening too long.
Another thing. There were some pretty specific quantifiable criteria listed in the guidelines for when moving to the next “phase” of reopening is appropriate. Yet I’ve never seen Fauci or Birx or anyone else in the White House attempt to apply those criteria to numbers in a given state or community.