WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMBF) – The nation’s top infectious disease expert had positive reviews for South Carolina’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a Senate hearing Tuesday, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) asked Dr. Anthony Fauci what South Carolina can do to protect its vulnerable population as the state works to reopen.
Fauci responded that S.C. has put measures in place, “that I think would optimize your capability of reopening.”
“I’d almost want to clone that and make sure other people hear about that and see what you’ve been doing,” Fauci said to Scott via teleconference.
The full exchange can be seen below:
Fauci’s praise for South Carolina came amidst his cautioning against cities and states opening up too quickly, saying they could “turn back the clock” and see more COVID-19 deaths and economic damage if stay-at-home orders are lifted too fast, according to the Associated Press.
As of Wednesday, there are 1.37 million COVID-19 infections and over 82,000 deaths associated with the disease in the U.S.
In South Carolina, those numbers stand at 7,927 positive cases and 355 deaths.
S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster has begun a phased reopening approach, with restaurants allowed to resume limited dine-in service as of May 11.
On May 18, close-contact businesses like barbershops and massage parlors can resume operation.