Story at a glance
- “I believe that if you look back historically, we’ve done worse than any other country, and we’re a highly developed, rich country,” Anthony Fauci said Monday.
- The U.S. has the highest coronavirus death toll in the world by hundreds of thousands.
- Fauci urged Americans to become united in tackling the virus moving forward, encouraging people to adhere to public health measures, including wearing a face mask, avoiding congregate settings and practicing social distancing.
The nation’s top infectious diseases expert says the U.S. has done worse than nearly every other country in the battle against the coronavirus.
During an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” Monday, President Biden’s chief medical adviser on COVID-19 Anthony Fauci was asked “did this have to be?” as the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. nears 500,000.
“Certainly some of it, but not this bad,” Fauci said. “I believe that if you look back historically, we’ve done worse than any other country, and we’re a highly developed, rich country.”
“It’s so tough to just go back and try and, you know, do a metaphorical autopsy on how things went. It was just bad. It is bad now,” Fauci said.
“Now let’s just go forward and be completely committed as a unified country to just go at this together. This is a common enemy.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 22, 2021
The U.S. has the highest COVID-19 death toll in the world and is expected to surpass the 500,000 mark on Monday. Brazil has the second-highest number of coronavirus fatalities with more than 246,000, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Worldwide, more than 2.4 million people have lost their lives to the virus.
But as the U.S. is set to pass the grim milestone Monday, the number of new cases has plummeted to levels not seen since fall after tallying hundreds of thousands of new cases per day over the winter holidays. Hospitalizations and deaths have fallen as well.
Rather than looking back, Fauci urged Americans to become united in tackling the virus moving forward, encouraging people to adhere to public health measures, including wearing a face mask, avoiding congregate settings and practicing social distancing.
“This is a common enemy. We’ve all got to pitch in,” he said. “We’re in some good shape now with the vaccines, but it’s going to be a race against the infections that keep coming.”
As of Sunday, more than 63 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Biden administration says there should be enough vaccine doses for every American by July.
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