Dr. Anthony Fauci said the U.S. should consider loosening indoor mask restrictions, but a CNN guest this morning says he's pessimistic.
"I understand why Dr. Fauci wants to loosen restrictions about masks. If you look at the country right now and the issues related to economics, particularly related to businesses, people need to be out and about and actually spending money," Dr. Rob Gore said.
"My wife is a small business owner and relies on customers. If you don't have customers coming in and out of the restaurant to eat, you don't make any money. So I get that. But we also have to consider what it means to be vulnerable. I work in a community which is a highly vulnerable population. Mainly black, brown, immigrant, many are undocumented, and those are the patients that wind up coming in with increased rates of covid-19 infection and have the greatest numbers of casualties.
"And so opening up the country and decreasing those masks, the mask requirements may affect them. It's not necessarily the people who are young and healthy and have access to resources, it's those who are considered to be most vulnerable."
Keilar asked what he thought the timeline would be.
"I think the timeline, honestly, is going to be about two to three years," Gore said.
"So you're looking at 2022 versus 2023 before we could see a level of normalcy or an improvement in the number of covid-19 infections as well as deaths. As a physician, you have to have -- there are two sides to the story. One, you have to be a pessimist, because if you're not a pessimist and thinking about worst case scenario, you miss a lot of things, which means people end up dying.
"If you're not an optimist, you don't inspire levels of confidence in the patients that you're treating which can definitely impact your decision-making. So we have to be very cautious. It's important that we give hope to the American public, but we also have to remain cautious and vigilant about ensuring that we continue to vaccinate people and we continue to make sure that we do protect ourselves in spaces and places where people may not do as well with the disease process."
"We do not love the pessimism, but we need the realism and so we certainly appreciate you being here to give us a dose of that. Dr. Robert Gore, thanks," Keilar said.