dr Anthony Fauci, Senior White House Medical Advisor, speaks during a COVID-19 briefing at the White House November 22, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Win Mcnamee | Getty Images
The nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the US is “certainly” still in the middle of a Covid-19 pandemic and he was “very concerned” by the divisive state of American politics.
“As a public health official, I don’t want to see anyone suffer and die from Covid,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday. “I don’t care if you’re a far-right Republican or a far-left Democrat, everyone deserves the reassurance of good public health and that doesn’t happen.”
Fauci said between 300 and 400 people are still dying from Covid every day and uptake of the latest vaccine booster is less than 15%.
“I think the idea of forgetting it, that’s over — it’s not,” he said.
The 81-year-old became a household name during the Covid-19 pandemic and battled misinformation – sometimes from the highest levels of government. He challenged former President Donald Trump on everything from hydroxychloroquine use to mask mandates, and his unwavering commitment to science made him a quasi-celebrity.
White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said Sunday he knew it had been a long two years for Americans but that getting vaccinated ahead of the holiday season was still “incredibly important”.
“We understand that people want to move on,” Jha told ABC News on This Week. “The good news is that if they keep their immunity up to date they can keep going.”
Fauci announced plans in August to step down from his duties as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and as advisory White House medical adviser by the end of the year. He gave his expected final Covid briefing on Tuesday, encouraging people to get vaccinated.
“I hope to be remembered for what I tried to do, just to bring science, medicine and public health principles into very serious crises that we’ve had,” Fauci said Sunday. “As I said before, I gave everything to do that.”
Fauci has advised seven US Presidents starting with Ronald Reagan on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, West Nile virus, the 2001 anthrax attacks, pandemic flu, various avian flu threats, Ebola, Zika and most recently Covid and monkey pox.