Anthony Fauci criticizes US reaction to the pandemic and the politicization of masks

“In fact, people are ridiculed for wearing a mask. It depends on the particular side of the political spectrum they are on, which is very painful for me as a doctor, scientist and public health official ”, stressed Fauci.

Anthony Fauci, director of the Infectious Diseases Institute, and Donald Trump | Stefani Reynolds / Bloomberg

The main American epidemiologist, Anthony Fauci, criticized the erratic policy of the Government of the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in relation to covid-19, and regretted the scarce use of masks due to political motivations.

During a virtual conference organized by the University of Melbourne, Fauci praised Australia and New Zealand's efforts against the pandemic, admitting that he cannot say the same for his country.

"The numbers speak for themselves," he said, referring to the nearly nine million infections and more than 228 deaths in the United States, where facial masks, considered a key element in preventing transmission, "have almost become a statement politics ”, he defended.

“In fact, people are ridiculed for wearing a mask. It depends on the particular side of the political spectrum they are on, which is very painful for me as a doctor, scientist and public health official ”, he stressed.

In the United States, with a strong polarization on the covid-19 policies taken by the Donald Trump administration, there are also anti-vaccine movements.

In Fauci's opinion, this “skepticism” is “partially fueled by the mixed signals sent by the (…) Government, which have not been very useful”, in a context in which the task of establishing a unified policy on the pandemic is also hampered by independence of each state in decision-making.

Fauci said the problem of disparate pandemic strategies became evident when the United States tried to reopen the economy, without necessarily following recommendations on how to do it safely.

"We have to try to articulate the importance of walking this fine line between maintaining public health without harming the economy," he said.

The senior American civil servant, who was recently attacked by Trump, who said that "people are tired of covid-19 and listening to Fauci and all these idiots", also defended his independence as a scientist.

"When you're on the same podium as politicians, you shouldn't be afraid to tell someone something they won't like to hear," said Fauci.

The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 1,1 million deaths and more than 44 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.

The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.

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