In an interview this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Michigan’s push to reopen may be moving too fast while offering advice and some praise for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“She’s a really good governor. I think she’s done some really good things. But I am telling them, just hold off for a bit.” Fauci told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Thursday night.
Fauci added that he understands the optimism and want for Michiganders to enter into a post-pandemic world but again issued a warning.
“We understand that, we really do. But just hang on a little longer until you get the overwhelming proportion of the population vaccinated,” he said.
Fauci’s comments came the same day the state hit more than 2,600 new cases and just one day before the number of daily cases shot to more than 3,700 -- the highest since the beginning of the year. Michigan’s chief medical officer, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said that Michigan could be on the verge of another wave.
“We’re not out of the woods yet. And we could potentially be at the beginning of another surge in Michigan,” Khaldun said at Friday’s press conference.
This week, Michigan reached the top of two dangerous lists -- the state led the country in COVID-19 infection rate and fell just behind Florida for the number of variant cases. Those variants are often more contagious and potentially more life-threatening. Those numbers came on the heels of broader reopening and lifted restrictions at places like event spaces and restaurants along with a return to in-person learning and winter sports.
“As the governor said from the beginning, we can take incremental steps toward normalcy by following basic public health measures like wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and getting a vaccine,” said Whitmer’s deputy press secretary Robert Leddy. “The path forward depends on increasing rapid testing and continuing to ramp up vaccinations, which one out of four Michiganders have already received. To continue operating safely, we must also provide businesses, schools and communities the resources they need to keep people safe as they return to normal, day-to-day activities. We will remain in close contact with our nation’s top health experts on best practices until we eliminate COVID-19 once and for all.”