Chris Wallace on reopening economy: 'Second wave' of coronavirus would be much worse

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In order to fix the economic crisis spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, America must first fix the public health crisis or risk an even worse outcome in a potential second wave, "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace warned Friday.

In an interview on the "Brian Kilmeade Show," Wallace said that while record unemployment numbers -- now surging to approximately 10 million people -- are "heartbreaking," he would follow the advice of the scientists in how to proceed from this point on.

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"I would follow the scientists. And, when you have Dr. Fauci -- and I understand he's not an economist. I understand he's just looking at it from a public health point of view," he advised. " But, if we don't have public health, then we're never going to restart the economy."

"Because," Wallace continued, "you know, if you loosen the reins too quickly, then people are going to go back to restaurants or people are going to go to sporting events and then the virus is going to come back with a fury."

During a briefing in the White House Rose Garden on Monday, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted there will be another COVID-19 outbreak in the fall, but expects the United States to be better prepared to combat the threat.

“In fact, I would anticipate that that would actually happen because of the degree of transmissibility,” he added.

“Our ability to go out and be able to test, identify, isolate, and contact trace, will be orders of magnitude better than what it was just a couple months ago,” Fauci told reporters.

"Look, we all know it's painful," Wallace commented. "But, you know, if we go through this for a month or two months and then let our foot off the pedal and people go back and we get a second wave, it's going to be much worse."

Wallace told host Brian Kilmeade it was better to be overly cautious than rush to normalcy.

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"I mean, look at the president. The president was talking about Easter and then, you know, he got the facts, he got these models and he went, 'No, we're not going to do that. We're going to extend the guidelines for a month till the end of April,'" he mused. "And, people are saying it shouldn't just be a state-by-state lockdown it should be a national lockdown."

"I don't think you can rush the facts and this, yes, it has economic implications — serious economic implications. But, this is ultimately a public health crisis. You've got to solve that first," Wallace concluded.