Dr. Fauci Says Easing Up On COVID-19 Restrictions May Prolong Pandemic

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, is concerned as a number of states continue to ease coronavirus restrictions heading into the spring.

"When I hear pulling back completely on public health measures, saying no more masks, no nothing like that, that is risky business," Fauci said on Meet the Press.

He explained that while the number of new cases are declining and more and more people are getting vaccinated every day, it is not the time to "spike the ball."

"Don't spike the ball on the five-yard line. Wait until you get into the end zone. We are not in the end zone yet," he said.

In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Dr. Fauci pointed to Europe, which is dealing with another surge in cases because of the coronavirus variants that are more infectious than the original strain.

"When you see that leveling off at a high level, there is always a risk of a surge back up, and in fact, unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening in Europe right now," Fauci said. "They [Europeans] thought they were home free, and they weren't, and now they are seeing an increase."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 107 million Americans have received at one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and more than 37 million people are fully vaccinated.

Photo: Getty Images

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