Fauci says Florida lifting restrictions on bars and restaurants is 'very concerning'

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Good Morning America
(Image credit: ABC News)

Dr. Anthony Fauci is calling for the United States to "double down" on public health measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic and expressing concern over Florida letting bars and restaurants fully reopen.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke to Good Morning America on Monday after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced last week he would be lifting restrictions on bars and restaurants and allowing them to operate at 100 percent capacity.

"That is very concerning to me," Fauci told GMA. "We have always said that ... that is something we really need to be careful about, because when you're dealing with community spread, and you have the kind of congregate setting where people get together, particularly without masks, you're really asking for trouble."

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Fauci went on to say that "now's the time" to "double down" on "common sense" public health measures, while the U.S. is reporting an average of about 40,000 COVID-19 cases every day. Fauci had previously stressed the need to get the daily number of cases in the U.S. down to 10,000 a day by September.

"We're not in a good place with regard to what I had said back then," Fauci said on Monday. "There are states that are starting to show [an] uptick in cases, and even some increase in hospitalizations in some states. And, I hope not, but we very well might start seeing increases in deaths." Brendan Morrow

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.