Fauci: US just deserves B or C grade on COVID-19

White House medical adviser Anthony FauciAnthony FauciDeSantis says he disagreed with Trump's decision to shut down economy at start of pandemic Child hospitalizations reach record high amid omicron surge: WSJ Overnight Health Care — White House: Testing website coming soon MORE said he would not give the United States an A for its public health response to the pandemic, saying it would deserve a B or even a C grade.

The government's foremost expert on infectious diseases did say, however, that the nation's scientific response, which led to life-saving vaccines by the end of 2020, deserved an A-plus. 

"I grade scientific A-plus. I grade public health C, B-plus, B-minus, C — somewhere between B and C. It certainly is not A," Fauci said in response to a question from host Margaret Brennan during an in-depth interview on CBS's "Face the Nation." 

The interview took place as the United States and the globe at large are increasingly worried about a new variant of the coronavirus. The variant has led to new travel bans, and triggered a stock selloff on Friday.

Fauci acknowledged that there were more steps government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) need to take to help address the COVID-19 pandemic. Brennan noted that the CDC does not appear to be tracking breakthrough cases.

"We need to do a lot of things, and the things that we certainly need to do, and we've been discussing this as recently as yesterday, that we really need to find out when you do boost an individual, how long does that immunity last, both from a laboratory standpoint and from a protection standpoint?" Fauci said.

"So the one thing we want to make sure, now that we're getting full blown into the booster phase, we've got to make sure we know what that means from a clinical standpoint," he added.