Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested Monday that the “intense divisiveness” in U.S. politics likely contributed to the nation’s COVID-19 death toll, which surpassed 500,000 late Monday.
He said he doesn't believe that "a rich and sophisticated country" such as the United States" should have had the most percentage of deaths and be the "hardest-hit country in the world."
“I don’t know if this is true but it feels this way to me, as a public health person, that if you ever did not want to have an outbreak of any sort in a certain condition, it would be in the condition where there was intense divisiveness in society, which is what we have," said Fauci, who served on then-President Donald Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force.
"There’s Red states and Blue states, that are almost hostile to each other in some respects, because of political differences—I think that’s the worst possible ingredients to be able to address an outbreak of an infection that even, under the best of circumstances, would be a formidable challenge."
In his interview on Monday, Fauci placed blame on the recommendations of some U.S. governors, mayors, and Trump to ease parts of the country out of lockdown, despite rising CCP virus cases and deaths nationwide.
“When the American spirit is so divided, that really, really made me sad,” he said. “This is the worst thing that’s happened to this country with regard to the health of the nation in over 100 years.”
"I never encountered anyone at a senior level who was not deeply seized by the major weight of what we were facing. I do think that people did their best," he said.