Divisiveness, politicisation of pandemic in US is key lesson to learn: Fauci
Publish- January 26, 2021, 02:13 AM
Xinhua/UNB - Xinhua/UNB
Top US immunologist said on Monday that in the US, one of the key lessons from the current COVID-19 outbreak is the challenges of the divisiveness and politicization of the health crisis.
"It makes it extremely problematic to address a public health crisis when you're in the middle of divisiveness in the country," Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos Agenda meeting.
"When public health issues become politically charged -- like wearing a mask or not becomes a political statement -- you can't imagine how destructive that is to any unified public health message," he said.
Saying that under the U.S. federalist system, different states handled the pandemic differently, Fauci told the audience that the country needs a coordinated approach between the federal government and states.
"You have 50 states and territories, each of which are given a degree of flexibility of doing things their own way. The federal government doesn't want to tell the states what to do," he said.
Fauci added that this situation will result in a disparate inconsistent response from one state to the other, which is antithetical to the fact that the virus is the same, and it doesn't know the difference between different states.
"We needed to have a good cooperation between the federal government and the individual locals which we did not have," he noted.
Commenting on the U.S. announcement to remain in the World Health Organization (WHO), Fauci said that global organizations like the WHO are key to ensuring preparedness for future public health risks.
"We need global health security," he said. "We need transparency, communication, collaboration and the solidarity we all talk about. If we don't have that, it becomes, maybe not impossible but problematic, to address an emerging public health outbreak."
Globally, as of 10:26 am CET on Monday, there have been 97,831,595 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2,120,877 deaths, reported to WHO.
In the U.S., there have been so far 24,775,208 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 414,083 deaths, both the highest numbers among all countries worldwide.