Fauci says he didn't expect such a high US death toll from COVID-19

Fauci says he didn't expect such a high US death toll from COVID-19
© getty: Anthony Fauci

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci warns of risks from single-dose strategy for Pfizer, Moderna vaccines MAGALand in Orlando CDC director warns states against lifting COVID-19 restrictions MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said Sunday he did not expect the death toll from the coronavirus to be so high in the U.S.

“There is no running away from the numbers,” Fauci told guest host Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week.”

“It's something that we absolutely have got to grasp and get our arms around and turn that, turn that inflection down by very intensive adherence to the public health measures uniformly throughout the country with no exceptions,” he added.

Statistics held by John Hopkins University show that 350,215 deaths have been recorded in the United States so far, a number that has been quickly growing over the last two months.

“I did not” expect the death toll to reach the recent milestone of 350,000 in the U.S., Fauci said.

“But, you know, that's what happens when you're in a situation where you have surges related to so many factors inconsistent adhering to the public health measures, the winter months coming in right now with the cold allowing people or essentially forcing people to do most of their things indoors as opposed to outdoors.”

Raddatz asked Fauci how effective he thought proposals by President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenIntercept bureau chief: minimum wage was not 'high priority' for Biden in COVID-19 relief South Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Obama alum Seth Harris to serve as Biden labor adviser: report MORE would be, such as a 100-day mask mandate and a target of 100 million vaccinations.

“The goal of vaccinating 100 million people in the first 100 days is a realistic goal. We can do 1 million people per day,” Fauci said. “You know we’ve done massive vaccination programs, Martha, in our history. There’s no reason why we can’t do it right now.”