Aggressive antibody testing is needed to reopen the US step by step and social distancing measures saved the American death toll from being up to one million, CDC director says

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says aggressive antibody testing is needed in order to safely reopen the country step by step and that social distancing has saved the United States from a death toll of up to one million.
In an interview with NBC's Today on Monday, Dr Robert Redfield said that the antibody testing was central to keeping the country open and preventing a second surge of coronavirus cases.
'We're going to need to have that aggressively employed as we begin to reopen because again, central to the success of that so we stay open, is to be able to do early case identification, isolation and contact tracing... to basically prevent the opportunity for community transmission to come back into the system,' he said.
In response to claims the White House and President Donald Trump ignored early warning signs of the outbreak, Dr Refield said the CDC recommended social distancing after the first case of community transmission was reported on February 28. 
In an interview with NBC's Today on Monday, Dr Robert Redfield said that the antibody testing was central to keeping the country open and preventing a second surge of coronavirus cases
'In January and February, the cases we had were all related to China travel - 14 cases throughout the country,' Dr Redfield said. 'It wasn't until February 28 that we saw our first community transmission. Our initial response was containment.'
He said that after February 28 and into early March the CDC recognized that 'mitigation was now important'. 
'The CDC sent recommendations to Washington, California, New York and to Florida recommending that they expand mitigation in those areas,' he said. 
The White House didn't issue social distancing guidelines for the country until three weeks later. 
Dr Redfield's comments came after he was asked whether he agreed with Dr Anthony Fauci's candid statements on Sunday that American lives could have been saved if the country had shut down sooner during the coronavirus outbreak. 
Meanwhile, Dr Redfield said that officials were assessing different parts of the country to see if it was feasible to reopen on May 1 when the current social distancing measures expire. 
'There's no doubt that we have to reopen correctly. It's going to be a step-by-step, gradual process. It's got to be data driven, and as I said I think it will be community by community, county by county,' he said. 
'We've all sacrificed a substantial amount and I do want to thank the American people. The potential mortality of this virus on our nation could have easily been 250,000, 500,000, a million - I think the social distancing that the American people all embraced... led to the mortality rate, sadly still too high, was far less than we anticipated.' 
His interview came after Trump retweeted a call to fire Dr Fauci after the nation's top expert on infectious diseases said lives could have been saved if the country had shut down sooner during the outbreak.
Trump retweeted a message Sunday from a former Republican congressional candidate who cited Dr Fauci's comments during a television interview on Sunday and tweeted 'time to #FireFauci.' 
Trump in the past has repeated critical tweets of officials or enemies rather than make the criticism himself. The retweet fueled speculation Trump was running out of patience with the popular scientist and could conceivably fire him. 
Dr Fauci has assumed national prominence as a leader in the fight against the coronavirus. 
He has contradicted or corrected Trump on scientific matters during the crisis, including whether the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is effective against it. 
Fauci was asked on CNN's State of the Union about a New York Times report documenting early warnings issued to
The scientist acknowledged shutting the country down sooner could have saved lives, but cautioned that a number of factors were involved. 
'Obviously, it would have been nice if we had a better head start, but I don't think you could say that we are where we are right now because of one factor,' Fauci said. 
'It's very complicated.'  
Already a target of the far-right for his contradictions of Trump, Dr Fauci drew more opprobrium after the comments.
Trump also denounced the New York Times story in several tweets on Sunday, calling it 'A Fake.'
Last week during the daily White House coronavirus briefing, Trump stepped in and prevented Fauci from answering a question about hydroxychloroquine.
Dr Fauci has led the federal infectious disease agency since 1984 under Republican and Democratic presidents. Republican George W. Bush honored him with the presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008.
Some polls during the public health crisis have shown Americans trust him more than Trump.
Aggressive antibody testing is needed to reopen the US step by step and social distancing measures saved the American death toll from being up to one million, CDC director says Aggressive antibody testing is needed to reopen the US step by step and social distancing measures saved the American death toll from being up to one million, CDC director says Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:34 Rating: 5

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