Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal response to monkeypox, on Capitol Hill on September 14, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Drew Anger | Getty Images
Dr. Anthony Fauci reflected on the United States’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic on Tuesday in what was likely his last public briefing as the nation’s top infectious disease expert.
Nearly three years after Covid-19 arrived on US shores, Fauci said he never imagined the pandemic would last so long and claim so many lives.
“I did not imagine and I don’t think any of my colleagues imagined that we would see a three-year saga of suffering and death and a million Americans losing their lives,” Fauci, 81, said. years, to reporters during a Covid update at the White House.
Fauci is stepping down in December as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases after nearly 40 years at the helm and as the White House’s chief medical adviser.
He said the most worrisome feature of Covid was the evolution of multiple variants, which have repeatedly upended the US response to the pandemic.
And Fauci said one of the hardest parts of the pandemic for him was the politicization of public health under the Trump administration.
Noting that many people have refused to be vaccinated against Covid for ideological reasons, Fauci said: “As a doctor, it hurts me because I don’t want to see anyone get infected, I don’t want to see anyone hospitalized and I don’t want to see anyone die from Covid.”
“Whether you’re a far-right Republican or a far-left Democrat, it makes no difference to me,” he said. “I see it the same way I did in the central New York emergency room when I was taking care of everyone who came in from the streets.”
He called on Americans to get a Covid booster to protect their health ahead of another wave of infection expected this winter as people travel and congregate for the holidays.
This is a developing story. Please check for updates.