There’s “no reason” people can’t vote in person this election year — but social distancing and masks will be essential, top infectious disease and public health expert Anthony Fauci says.
In an interview with National Geographic on Thursday, Fauci said the process has to be “carefully done, according to the guidelines.”
“There's no reason that I can see why that not be the case,” he said of having safe in-person voting in the coming weeks.
“For example, when you look at going to a grocery store now in many regions and counties and cities that are doing it correctly, they have ‘X’s every six or more feet,” he continued.
“And it says, Don't leave this spot until the person in front of you left their spot. And you can do that, if you go and wear a mask, if you observe the physical distancing, and don't have a crowded situation, there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to do that.”
Fauci noted any voter who’s “compromised physically or otherwise” shouldn’t take the chance, however, and take advantage of “mail-inviting that has been done for years in many places.”
“So there's no reason why we shouldn't be able to vote in person or otherwise,” he declared.
According to Fauci, the nation as a whole wasn’t following guidance, allowing spikes in infection, hospitalizations and deaths.
“We did not have a universal, in the sense of everybody pulling in the same direction, of the kinds of things that can contain and slow down an outbreak, the things that we've spoken about: distancing, masks, avoiding crowds, outdoors better than indoors, washing hands, doing things like closing bars, where appropriate, because that seems to be a hot spot of transmission,” he said.
Fauci added that how long the country has to follow safety guidance to stop the spread of COVID-19 “depends totally on us. If we keep running away from the reality of the need to do it, it could linger on and linger on."
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