The Two Places Dr. Fauci Says Need To Close Now

During a December 7 press conference held by New York governor Andrew Cuomo, Dr. Anthony Fauci asked the governor why in-person learning had been suspended while bars and restaurants were allowed to remain open across the state. He pointed out that test positivity in schools "is actually really low, which is a good thing." He went on to say that the state should consider using stimulus money to pay businesses like bars and restaurants to close, saying, "So long as you subsidize and help the restaurateurs and the bar owners so that they don't go down and essentially crash because of the economic strain ... If we can keep those things under control, subsidize those people, as well as keep the schools open, we'd be in good shape" (via Yahoo).

Fauci feels it is in the interest of public health to close bars and restaurants immediately to tamp down the spread of COVID-19, which has been on the rise across the nation, including in New York state.

Data shows COVID is on the rise

Current data shows that over the last seven days, there have been 19,202 confirmed new cases of COVID in the Empire State, which is an increase over the previous seven days (via NYC.Gov). Presently, the state is still allowing bars and restaurants to serve customers, but with extremely reduced capacity and with other restrictions. For instance, indoor dining is allowed across the state, but in New York City proper the capacity must be reduced to 25 percent, while restaurants can operate at 50 percent capacity in other areas of the state (via Even so, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) says the state's current policy of keeping bars and restaurants open while keeping schools closed is counterintuitive, and if the governor is going to do the latter, he should do the former as well (via Yahoo).

Some states have already done what Fauci is suggesting, like California, where Governor Gavin Newsom and the state health department has issued a stay-at-home order that goes into effect in any region where intensive care unit availability falls below 15 percent (via The New York Times). In this case, citizens have to stay home for three weeks, leaving only for essentials. Gatherings with anyone outside the immediate household is prohibited, theaters, bars, breweries and other business must close, and restaurants cannot offer indoor dining, though they can still provide takeout and delivery services (via

Other states have varying closure rules in place

New York would be setting a precedent if it decides to heed Fauci's suggestion to close down bars and restaurants, as other states are still allowing such businesses to function, albeit with many restrictions. Currently, Connecticut has rolled back to stage 2 (rather than the more uninhibited stage three) in the face of the uptick in COVID cases; restaurants must restrict indoor dining to 50 percent capacity and close by 10 p.m. New Jersey bars and restaurants must also close by 10 p.m., and sitting at a bar is prohibited, though tables can be placed closer than six feet apart if there is a physical barrier between them. Another nearby state that has been among the most cautious, Massachusetts, is also still allowing indoor dining with reduced capacity and with table service ending by 9:30 p.m (via

One state to institute a stay-at-home order lately is Rhode Island. Gov. Gina Raimondo issued a two-week order that became effective on November, 30 (via Providence Journal). During this time, gyms, recreational areas like bowling alleys, and bar areas of indoor restaurants must close. While indoor dining at restaurants is still allowed, capacity must be reduced to 33 percent, and only members of the same household are allowed to sit at a table together. The governor has called this a "pause" in the state's reopening plan in an effort to tamp down the spread of the virus and ensure the health and safety of citizens (via 

Whether or not your state has closed bars and restaurants, if Dr. Fauci suggests they should be avoided, you might want to follow his guidance.

Americans have mixed feelings about Dr. Fauci's advice

As one might expect with the way the country is divided over the COVID issue, people on social media have had varying reactions to Fauci's advice. Underneath a Facebook video recording of the press conference in which Fauci told Cuomo to close bars and restaurants, one person said, "Gov.C and Dr. F are modern day heroes and deserve another raise. They are always correct and have Americans best interests. They'll keep us all safe." Meanwhile, on the flip side of the coin, another commenter said, "Tyrants should be locked up," presumably referring to Fauci, Cuomo, and all other governors and politicians instituting restrictions.

On Twitter, feelings about Fauci and mandated shutdowns are equally mixed. One person Tweeted her support, saying, "Thank you Dr. Fauci for your persistence, commitment, and diligence in addressing the pandemic. You give me hope!" While another shouted, "FAUCI, HERE IS YOUR FULL BLUNT OF YOUR #COVID19" along with an image that says, "The second wave is actually a wave of media bull****!"