Fauci calls for ‘a uniform approach’ to coronavirus pandemic
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that “a uniform approach” is necessary to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, rather than strategies that vary state by state.
“We need some fundamental public health measures that everyone should be adhering to, not a disjointed, ‘One state says one thing, the other state says another thing,’” Fauci said Tuesday in a virtual conference with Andrew Ross Sorkin of The New York Times.
Fauci said he “want[ed] to stay out of the political stuff,” though his comments dovetail with President-elect Joe Biden’s calls for a national strategy to fight COVID-19.
He also appeared to echo those who have said the delay of the presidential transition planning poses a threat to public health, as President Trump has refused to concede to Biden weeks after the election.
“I’ve been through five transitions; I can say that transitions are extremely important to the smooth continuity of whatever you’re doing,” said Fauci, who has held his position since 1984. “We need to transition to the team that will be doing it, similar to how we’re doing it.”
The General Services Administration has declined to sign off on beginning the transition process, a move that a growing number of Democrats say could harm Washington’s coronavirus response efforts.
Fauci called the reports on new vaccine candidates from Moderna and Pfizer, both of them over 90 percent effective, good news, but said it was equally important to ensure enough people take it. The mere existence of a vaccine, he said, would be meaningless unless 75 to 80 percent of Americans are inoculated.
He expressed dismay at the idea that issues like vaccination and wearing masks have become partisan.
“We’ve got to get public health issues out of the realm of political divisiveness — this is not a political issue,” Fauci said. “We’ve got to do everything we possibly can to pull together as a nation.”
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