Home warrants designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus could lead to “irreparable damage” if imposed for too long, White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Foci told CNBC on Friday.
“I don’t want people to think any of us think he’s been locked up for a long time,” Foci said during an interview with CNBC’s Meg Tyrell on Half Time Report.
He said the United States must take tough action because then Covid-19 cases erupt. “But now is the time, depending on where you are and what your situation is, to start looking seriously at economic recovery, reopening the country to try to get back to some degree of normalcy.”
However, Foci warned states not to reduce social distancing measures too quickly, adding that they must take “very significant precautions”.
“Overall, I think most of the country is doing well,” he said. “Obviously there are situations where people can skip this. I’m just saying, please proceed with caution if you are going to do this.”
Just last week, Fausi, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned members of Congress that the United States could face even more “suffering and death” from the coronavirus if some states rush to start a business too soon.
It could also prevent states “on the road from trying to return to economic recovery,” he testified during a May 12 hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “That would almost turn the clock back rather than move forward. That’s my main concern.”
The virus, which appeared in Wuhan, China, less than five months ago, has infected more than 1.5 million people in the United States, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. Countries began the process of rebuilding their economies after being closed for weeks.
In a separate interview with NPR earlier in the day, Foci said it was “possible” that the United States would start producing a coronavirus vaccine by December.
He told CNBC that the data on the vaccines of the biotech company Moderna, published earlier this week, are very encouraging.
Modern is working quickly with the National Institutes of Health to develop a vaccine.
On Monday, the company released data from a phase one human trial on its potential vaccine, showing that all 45 enrolled patients produced binding antibodies seen at similar levels in people who had recovered from the virus.
The vaccine produces neutralizing antibodies that researchers believe are important to protect against the virus in eight of the patients whose data have been available so far. Neutralizing antibody data for other patients are expected to be released later.
“We still have a long way to go, obviously,” Faci said on Friday. “There are so many things that need to be done. We will move quickly to phase three of the test, probably in early summer, sometime in July.”
Correction: White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Foci spoke to CNBC on Friday. An earlier version missed the day.