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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Dr. Fauci: Michigan may have re-opened too quickly, potentially causing spike in COVID-19 cases

Anthony Fauci
Posted at 2:01 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 14:01:35-04

(WSYM) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institutes for Health, said it's "very likely" Michigan may have opened up too soon which could be causing the massive surge in COVID-19 cases.

Speaking to Dave LewAllen for 7 UpFront on Thursday, Fauci said the pressure to pull back could be causing the spike.

"I think the idea of pulling back prematurely, under pressure, is understandable why you want to do that, but the results are being manifested in what you're seeing in Michigan," he said.

"I hesitate to criticize anything the governor did because she's really quite a good governor," Fauci said.

Over the past few weeks, Michigan has seen a huge increase in COVID-19 cases, with more than 6,000 new cases in a single day announced Wednesday, the highest number of new cases in months.

The state shut down in mid-November due to a surge, but reopened bars and restaurants in February to 25% capacity, then increased it to 50% on March 5.

The number of active cases in the state coincides with the surge in new cases. It went from 32,400 active cases on March 1 to 86,700 active cases on March 31, the highest number of active cases since early January.

According to Fauci, the fear of retaliation may also be a danger to why restrictions haven't been re-imposed, even if they are necessary.

"Obviously, there are threats, both physical threats as it were against your governor, as well as threats of not supporting a politician any longer, Fauci said. " Unfortunately, that should not happen."

Fauci said that we're going to get out of this soon, and the better we do at implementing restrictions now, the quicker we will put the pandemic behind us.

He also said that vaccinations are a key to preventing a very big surge, and as many people should get vaccinated as possible.

As of Thursday, 2,713,733 Michiganders have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with 4,296,395 vaccine doses administered.