Former top doctor reflects on missteps of US COVID-19 response: CNN

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 27, 2023
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Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a hearing of Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee titled "The Path Forward: A Federal Perspective on the COVID-19 Response" in Washington, D.C., the United States, on July 20, 2021. [Photo/Pool via Xinhua]

Since Anthony Fauci retired late last year as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, effectively ending his role as America's Doctor during the COVID-19 public health emergency, he has been reflecting in a series of new interviews on the missteps and missed opportunities that characterized the pandemic response of the United States, according to a CNN report updated on Wednesday.

"How could the United States, one of the wealthiest, best-resourced nations on Earth, rack up more than 1.1 million deaths from COVID-19 in just three years, a death toll that outpaced those of most other countries?" asked the report, quoting Fauci as saying that on the whole, two big problems caused the U.S. to stumble as it tried to control COVID-19.

"The first is the divisiveness of politics, which led many conservatives to distrust public health recommendations to get vaccinated and wear masks in public," said the report. "The second major problem, as he explained, is the fracturing of the US health care delivery system."

"We were not fully appreciative of the fact that we were dealing with a highly, highly transmissible virus that was clearly spread by ways that were unprecedented and unexperienced by us. And so it fooled us in the beginning and confused us about the need for masks and the need for ventilation and the need for inhibition of social interaction," Fauci said.

When it came to the nation's poor vaccination rate -- just 68 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated, making the U.S. 69th in the world -- Fauci said he wondered whether mandates ended up doing more harm than good.

"Sometimes-beautiful independent streak in our country becomes counterproductive. And you have that smoldering anti-science feeling, a divisiveness that's palpable politically in this country," he said.

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