April 9, 2020 / Ariel Shapiro, Forbes Staff
Topline: The spread of coronavirus will not necessarily slow down in warm weather, Dr. Anthony Fauci said during an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America, diminishing the idea that life in the U.S. can return to normal in summer.
- The lockdowns and closure of non-essential businesses across the country have taken a massive toll on the economy, with more than 16 million people filing jobless claims in the last three weeks.
- President Donald Trump has banked on the idea that warm weather would dwindle the outbreak, and is planning to get the economy up and running with a “big bang” after social distancing guidelines expire at the end of the month.
- Dr. Fauci said that continuing social distancing is the best way to slow the spread: “We have to make sure, as I always say, that we keep our foot on the accelerator.”
- Although there is precedent for warm, moist weather diminishing the transmission of similar viruses, he said, it is unclear at this point whether this particular coronavirus will behave the same way.
- A National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report released Tuesday echoed that idea, concluding there was not yet enough evidence of warm weather slowing the virus’ spread.
- The study also warned that the new coronavirus is spreading quickly in countries experiencing summer climates, such as Australia and Iran.