Jones hosts Fauci for COVID-19 update, says U.S. ‘has not done a good job’ on coronavirus
U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) hosted Dr. Anthony Fauci for a virtual event on Tuesday regarding the state of COVID-19 in Alabama and across the United States. The senator criticized the country’s response and President Donald Trump, while the health expert urged people to wear masks as he discussed the current state of the science around the disease.
Fauci is the head of the National Institutes for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the lead epidemiologist on the White House Coronavirus Task Force that is led by Vice President Mike Pence.
Jones began by discussing the recent coronavirus numbers in Alabama, noting that hospitalizations and the number of positive cases are up while the death toll has surpassed 1,000.
Near the beginning of the presentation, before Fauci joined, Jones brought up a slide to talk about the hospitalization numbers among Alabama’s coronavirus cases.
Jones said he chose to highlight the numbers in the slide “because of more recent comments that we have heard that ‘99% of people it just is not a problem,'” a reference to a recent remark made by Trump where the president said the coronavirus was “totally harmless” for 99% of people who contract it.
“Well, that is not the case,” said Jones in response to the president’s recent comment.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended the president’s comment from intense media criticism in a recent Fox News Channel appearance, saying Trump was referring to the fact that around 1% of Americans who have caught COVID-19 have perished from the illness.
Jones shared a slide about the nation at large.
Alabama’s junior senator believes that the numbers in the slide show that the United States “has not done a good job” with respect to containing the coronavirus.
“We were on a downhill slope and now we’re back up,” remarked Jones.
Fauci joined the digital event from the headquarters of the NIAID in Washington, D.C., after Jones had given his opening update.
The national health expert was asked multiple times about statewide mask orders, which so far has not been introduced in Alabama.
“I do believe a statewide mask order is important, because there is a variability in people taking seriously or even understanding the benefit of masks,” responded Fauci.
“Masks made a difference,” advised the longtime health expert.
Fauci stopped short of naming a specific state or government official which should implement a mask order, a commonplace tactic for an official seeking to stay out of partisan political combat.
The doctor also said he did not support or expect a nationwide mask order.
Fauci was also questioned about whether taking a vaccine will be mandated once such a substance is developed. He said that he does not expect a nationwide mandate, but believes that many employers and institutions will require the potential vaccine.
The longtime head of NIAID also offered that individuals who wear masks but do not cover their noses are not being careful enough.
Fauci warned you are “taking away 50% of your protection” by not covering your nasal pathways.