Dr. Anthony Fauci said Americans could meet people they matched with on dating apps if they were “willing to take a risk” with their health and the wellbeing of others.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director told the Snapchat show Good Luck America on Tuesday that the level of risk involved would depend on how intimate people were.
According to a transcript of the three-part interview with Dr. Fauci, published by Vanity Fair, the host Peter Hamby asked Dr. Fauci what people should say to matches on dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble amid widespread pandemic shutdowns.
“You know, that’s tough. Because it’s what’s called relative risk,” Dr. Fauci said. “If you really feel that you don’t want to have any part of this virus, will you maintain six feet away, wear a mask, do all the things that we talk about in the guidelines?
“If you’re willing to take a risk—and you know, everybody has their own tolerance for risks—you could figure out if you want to meet somebody. And it depends on the level of the interaction that you want to have.”
He added: “If you’re looking for a friend, sit in a room and put a mask on, and you know, chat a bit. If you want to go a little bit more intimate, well, then that’s your choice regarding a risk.”
The leading infectious disease expert on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force warned that making sure your date was feeling will would not mitigate the risk of being exposed to COVID-19.
“If everybody transmitted would only transmit when they’re sick, that would be much easier,” Dr. Fauci said. “But what we’re seeing… is that there’s a considerable amount of transmission from an asymptomatic person.”
Newsweek has contacted the NIAID for further comment and will update this article with any response.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on how people can protect themselves amid the novel coronavirus pandemic recommends putting distance between yourself and others as best as possible to curb the spread of the disease.
Social distancing measures published by the White House in March also asks Americans to “avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.”
“Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick,” the CDC website says.
Dr. Fauci himself stressed the importance of reducing contact to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus when he told The Journal podcast last week that people who ideally avoid ever shaking hands again.
“I don’t think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you,” he said. “Not only would it be good to prevent coronavirus disease, it probably would decrease instances of influenza dramatically in this country.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19
- CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
- Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
- Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
- Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.
World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.
- Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
- Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
- If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
- Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
- Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.
Mask and glove usage
- Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
- Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
- Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
- Do not reuse single-use masks.
- Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
- The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.