Coronavirus Updates: Fauci Warns Against Early Reopening; Los Angeles Lockdown To Last To July

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Dr. Anthony Fauci warned a Senate committee Tuesday that reopening the U.S. economy too soon risks “needless suffering and death” and could “turn the clock back” on economic recovery. As President Trump races to reopen the country for business amid the sharpest downturn in U.S. history, Fauci said communities that lift lockdowns before seeing a “downward trajectory” in cases over a two-week span could trigger a new outbreak “that you might not be able to control.”

When asked by Sen. Bernie Sanders whether he agreed with official death counts, Fauci said fatalities were “almost certainly higher.” And in one of the hearing’s sharpest exchanges, Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who earlier tested positive for Covid-19, said Fauci wasn’t “the end-all” on the virus, calling its impact “relatively benign” in much of the country. Fauci countered by saying his advice was based on “the best scientific evidence” available.

Los Angeles County will “with all certainty” extend its stay-at-home order through July or August, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Tuesday, until restrictions will be “gradually relaxed.”

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