Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and a member of the White House's Coronavirus Task Force, on Monday said he believes the Wuhan coronavirus has hit the United States harder than any other country.
A large part of the growing pandemic, Fauci said, is because of how individual states are responding to the virus.
"The states are very often given a considerable amount of leeway in doing things the way they want to do it, as opposed to in response to federal mandates, which are relatively rarely given," Fauci told the BBC on Monday, CNN reported.
The lack of consistency, especially when it comes to masks and lockdown orders, are something the NIAID director sees as a "major weakness."
"Although that works well for certain things, when you’re dealing with a pandemic, which doesn’t know the difference between the border of New York and New Jersey, or Florida and Georgia, or Texas and Oklahoma ... you have to have a degree of consistency in your response," he explained.
"What we’ve had was a considerable disparity with states doing things differently in a non-consistent way. There have been a lot of factors that have led to the fact that, unfortunately for us, the United States has been the hardest hit country in the world, but I believe that disparity among how states do things has been a major weakness in our response," he said.
Fauci referred to social distancing, avoiding crowds and wearing masks as things that have been politicized. In a different time period, he said, Americans would have been more apt to following public health guidelines and requirements.
Even though Pfizer and Moderna have released millions of doses of their vaccines, Fauci warned about being complacent. In fact, he said people should continue with public health measures, like wearing masks, practicing social distancing and washing your hands, even though the vaccine is here. That's because herd immunity needs to be developed, not just in the United States, but around the world.
"Until we get that veil of protection, then we are constantly going to be challenged," he said.
Fauci is losing his credibility, just as his counterpart, Dr. Deborah Birx, recently has. Just last week Fauci admitted to fibbing with the numbers needed to create herd immunity. He based his numbers "parly based on new science, and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks," the New York Times reported.