As restaurants continue resuming indoor dining services, you might be wondering if that means it is totally safe to enjoy a meal from the comfort of their dining room. During an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell on Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed concern about indoor dining —especially as temperatures continue dropping around the country and outdoor dining is no longer an option. Before you decide to order up a meal indoors, you might want to hear what he has to say. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci is concerned about a recent study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, finding that adults who tested positive for COVID were more than twice as likely to have admitted to eating inside a restaurant. “That’s the simple reason why we’re talking about—why I keep stressing about—getting the level of community infection down. Because if you go indoors in a restaurant — whatever capacity, 25, 50%, or what have you — indoors absolutely increases the risk,” Fauci said. “If we want to get back to the normal existence of being able to enjoy being in a restaurant, the best way to do that is to get the community level of infection at the lowest level possible.” In fact, he is very worried about what is going to happen when the temperatures cool. “I am concerned when I see things starting to move indoors, and that becomes more compelling when you get into the fall into winter season—when you essentially have to be indoors,” he said.
Dr. Fauci explained to Mitchell that he believes in the vaccine testing process. Why? For a vaccine to get approved, it has to go through an extensive process. “The process whereby a vaccine is approved — either through an EUA to be distributed, or through a formal approval — is really based on data that comes into an independent body, called the Data and Safety Monitoring Board. They have nothing to do with the company. They have nothing to do with the FDA. They’re an independent group,” Fauci said. The board examines whether the vaccine is safe and effective, and the information they uncover “would ultimately become public” and would be “scrutinized very, very carefully.” Next up is the advisory committee, “that advise the FDA, and they again, are [an] independent group,” he said.”And then you have the entire scientific community, including myself, that’s looking very carefully at that,” he said. Ultimately, once a vaccine is released, he trusts in it. “We have great confidence in the FDA that they’re going to do the right thing.” He adds that there are “a lot of eyes on that. It’s not something that can be snuck in in a political way. And that’s the reason why I feel really quite confident that this is going to be done correctly.”
Dr. Fauci still believes we are on track to have an effective and safe vaccine in the next few months. “I believe that we will have a vaccine that will be available by the end of this year, the beginning of next year,” he explained. However, that doesn’t mean life will go back to normal then. “By the time you mobilize the distribution of the vaccinations, and you get the majority, or more, of the population vaccinated and protected, that’s likely not going to happen to the mid or end of 2021,” he said. It will take even longer for live to really get back to pre-pandemic standards. “If you’re talking about getting back to a degree of normality which resembles where we were prior to Covid, it’s going to be well into 2021, maybe even towards the end of 2021,” he said.
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President Donald Trump recently said that the US has “rounded the final turn” of the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Fauci disagrees. “I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with that because — if you look at the thing that you just mentioned — the statistics, Andrea, they’re disturbing.
He said he hopes we don’t see surges in cases after Labor Day, “as the nation did following Memorial Day and the Fourth of July,” he said. “We’re plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day, and the deaths of around 1,000, But when you have a baseline of infections that are 40,000 per day, and you have threats of increased test positivity in certain regions of the country — such as the Dakotas and Montana and places like that — what we don’t want to see is going into the fall season, when people will be spending more time indoors, and that’s not good for a respiratory-borne virus,” Fauci said. “You don’t want to start off already with a baseline that’s so high.” Unless the country gets the level down before the temperatures drop, the country is going to be “at a disadvantage right from the very beginning.”
As for yourself, do everything you can to prevent getting—and spreading—COVID-19 in the first place: Mask up, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds (and bars, and house parties), practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, make sure your restaurant (if you must go to one) follows safety protocols, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.