Dr. Fauci praises South Carolina’s reopening process

State - Regional

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a briefing on coronavirus in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, Saturday, March 14, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (WCBD) – The United States top health official Dr. Anthony Fauci warned of serious consequences if states skip over federal guidelines and reopen states too quickly during a hearing on Tuesday.

He stressed that if communities prepare, they can limit the rebound in new cases.

During the hearing, Dr. Fauci offered high praise for South Carolina’s phased reopening process during an exchange with Senator Tim Scott.

“What else would you suggest that we do to protect our most vulnerable populations?” Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) asked Dr. Fauci.

“You have put things in place that I think would optimize your capability of reopening. And as I was thinking as you were speaking, I almost want to clone that and make sure other people hear about that and see what you’ve been doing,” Dr. Fauci said.

Those comments came the same day Senator Lindsey Graham responded to the hearing about testing and schools.

“I think the hearing today made us think, if you go back to school, if the University of South Carolina and Clemson University, they go back to school, you’re going to need to have a testing regime consistent with that, and I think we’re getting there,” he said.

The CEO of the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Helen Hill, also testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Hill shared perspective on “legal issues regarding the tourism industry and the impact on the local economy.”

She spoke on behalf of “850 tourism businesses, 40,000 hospitality employees, and nine municipal governments in SC.” In Hill’s written testimony, she noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the Charleston tourism economy to decline 70%.

Meanwhile, House Democrats unveiled a new $3 trillion stimulus plan called “The Heroes Act” and expect the House to vote on it Friday.

It would be the largest stimulus package yet, and includes money for state and local governments for testing, hazard pay for essential workers, and direct payments to many americans.

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