Story at a glance

  • White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci said in an interview Monday the partisan divide related to COVID-19 “really hindered” the nation’s pandemic response.
  • “You should never have, looking at a map, and seeing that people who are vaccinated fall heavily into one group and people who are unvaccinated fall heavily into another group,” he said.
  • Addressing a public health issue “requires synergy among all elements of our government, where we realize that the common enemy is the virus,” he added.

White House medical adviser Anthony Fauci said in an interview Monday the partisan divide related to COVID-19 “really hindered” the nation’s pandemic response. 

Fauci told former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in a virtual interview hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center addressing a public health issue like COVID-19 “requires synergy among all elements of our government, where we realize that the common enemy is the virus.”

“Sometimes, when you listen to people speak, it’s almost that the enemy is each other,” Fauci said. “And we have public health decisions that are based on [ideological] considerations. You should never have that.”

“You should never have, looking at a map, and seeing that people who are vaccinated fall heavily into one group and people who are unvaccinated fall heavily into another group,” he added. “That is so antithetical with what public health should be, which should be a concerted effort on the part of the entire population.”

More than 760,000 people in the U.S. have died due to COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 80 percent of the population ages 12 or older have received at least one vaccine dose. 


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The director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease did not blame a particular party for the divide. But he expressed hope that the nation will learn from divisions ahead of future emergencies. 

“I hope that when we get out of this, people will look back and realize we don’t ever want to do that again because it really hindered our response to this pandemic,” he concluded. 


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Published on Nov 15, 2021