Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, on Monday said the U.S. has done “worse than most” other countries as the nation nears 500,000 deaths amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I believe that if you look back historically, we’ve done worse than most any other country,” Fauci said during an ABC News’ Good Morning America interview on Monday. “And we’re a highly developed, rich country.”
Fauci characterized the nearly 500,000 reported deaths from COVID-19 in the country as a “stunning” figure.
“So there were things back then that if you go back and think about what you might have done, the kind of dispirit responses of different states rather than having a unified approach, but it’s so tough to just go back and try and, you know, do a metaphorical autopsy on how things went,” Fauci said. “It was just bad. It is bad now.”
Fauci urged the public to be “completely committed” against fighting the “common enemy.”
“The only thing that I would just encourage all of us is that rather than looking back and saying what the heck happened here, now let’s just go forward and be completely committed as a unified country to just go at this together,” Fauci said. “This is a common enemy. We’ve all got to pitch in.”
Fauci added that although the country is in “good shape now” with vaccines, it will be a “race against” incoming infections and the public’s ability to adhere to mitigation strategies such as mask-wearing and practicing social distancing, because those measures are the “weapons that we have against this horrible disease.”
Watch Fauci’s remarks below: