Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute 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 September 14, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Drew Anger | Getty Images
Dr. Anthony Fauci reflected on the U.S. response to the Covid-19 pandemic on Tuesday in what is likely to be his last public briefing as the nation’s top infectious disease expert.
Nearly three years after Covid-19 first reached American shores, Fauci said he never imagined the pandemic would last so long and take so many lives.
“I didn’t 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, told reporters during a Covid update at the conference. White House.
Fauci is stepping down as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in December after nearly 40 years at the helm and as the White House’s chief medical adviser.
He said the most worrying feature of Covid was the development of multiple variants over time.
And Fauci said one of the hardest parts of the pandemic for him was the politicization of public health.
Noting that many people refused to get the Covid vaccine for ideological reasons, Fauci said: “As a doctor, it hurts me because I don’t want anyone to get infected, I don’t want to hospitalize anyone and I don’t want to. I don’t want to see anyone die of Covid.”
“Whether you’re a far-right Republican or a far-left Democrat, it makes no difference to me,” he said. “I look at it the same way I looked at the emergency room in the middle of New York, when I was taking care of everyone who came in off the street.
He urged Americans to get a Covid booster to protect their health against another expected spike in infections this winter as people travel and gather for the holidays.
This is a developing story. Please check for updates.