White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday that the United States "can start thinking about getting back to some degree of normality when the country as a whole turns that corner" of reducing the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
'"You need to see the trajectory of the curve start to come down," Fauci told NBA star Stephen "Steph" Curry on an Instagram story interview that the Golden State Warriors player held for tens of thousands of followers, among them former President Barack Obama.
President Donald Trump in recent days has said he wants to see the U.S. get back to social and economic normalcy sooner rather than later.
Health experts have opposed that idea, arguing that even tighter restrictions on social interactions and businesses are necessary in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus to avoid infecting people overwhelming hospital systems.
Fauci's repsonse to Curry about a return to normalcy came as the basketball player asked when the NBA, along with other sports leagues and entertainers, will be able to reopen to large crowds of fans.
Fauci noted that New York City, the current center of the outbreak in the country, is experiencing a "terrible time." He said people need to practice social distancing from each other to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus.
"This is serious business, you're not overreacting," Fauci told Curry.
"Everybody until this is over should practice some degree of distancing and care," Fauci said. "You need to protect yourself."
He said there is troubling data that more young people are becoming infected in the U.S. than have been seen in other countries.
Fauci said young people need to realize that even if they do not feel sick they should avoid contact with others, because they could "become the vector" of transmitting the virus.
"And then you pass it along to your grandfather, your grandmother, who is on chemotherapy for cancer," and they get sick, he warned.
During the chat, Obama left a comment, writing, "Listen to the science. Do your part and take care of each other."