Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci testifies before the US Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine COVID-19, “focusing on lessons learned to prepare for the next pandemic”, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on June 23, 2020.
Kevin Dietsch | Pool | AFP | Getty Images
White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci urged young Americans to not take the coronavirus lightly, saying doing so could propagate the pandemic.
“You have to have responsibility for yourself but also a societal responsibility that you’re getting infected is not just you in a vacuum. You’re propagating the pandemic,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in an interview Thursday evening.
The comment by Fauci came as state health officials say more young people are ignoring social distancing measures and contracting the virus at a higher rate. Fauci said the average age of a new Covid-19 patient has dropped by 15 years since the beginning of the pandemic in the U.S.
Vice President Mike Pence warned last month that roughly half of the new cases in the U.S. were people under the age of 35, particularly in Florida and Texas.
Fauci said young people at bars enjoying themselves is “totally understandable.” But he warned that young people who are asymptomatic, who never develop symptoms, can also pass the virus on to others.
“I get that,” he said Thursday. “I was there at one point in my life. Or see people in crowds and you say well, they think they’re not doing anything that’s particularly harmful, but they might be.”
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.