Fauci says COVID-19 vaccine push could be 'best decision' he's made

Dr Deborah Birx believes the Covid-19 death toll in the United States would have been substantially lower if the government had responded more effectively. — Reuters

"It shocked me because it was such a jolt to what we were trying to do", he said of Trump's efforts.

Throughout the pandemic, Fauci has been eager to give interviews, seeming to revel in the title "America's Doctor" that the media bestowed on him.

By mid-spring, Trump expressed that the economic health of the U.S. depended on state reopenings. Business Insider reported that she was asked earlier this month if Trump deserves any credit for the vaccine development, and she avoided the question, saying, progress on vaccines was a "Herculean incredible effort by science and by medical experts".

In an interview for a CNN documentary airing Sunday, Dr. Deborah Birx explained that hundreds of thousands of COVID-related deaths could have been prevented.

US President Donald Trump is seen flanked by top White House coronavirus task force officials Deborah Birx (L) and Anthony Fauci (R), on May 15, 2020. "And I said to myself, 'Oh my goodness".

He added: "It shocked me because it was such a jolt to what we were trying to do".

Fauci's boss National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins told Axios in February that former President Donald Trump's Operation Warp Speed deserves the credit for facilitating the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine in record time, but that didn't stop Fauci from pretending that he didn't spend the past year casting doubt on the administration's vaccine efforts and goals. Trump also pushed for the reopening of states and cities and touted unproven treatments.

Many states lifted at least part of their most stringent restrictions by May and June previous year, but by July, some of the reopenings were rolled back or restrictions were restored when infections spiked, notably in Arizona, California, and Texas. "This is really solid", Fauci said.

"When I saw what happened in New York City, nearly overrunning of our health care system, it was like, 'Oh my goodness, '" he said. "It was very uncomfortable, very direct and very hard to hear".

Despite his sudden hope for Operation Warp Speed's vaccine rollout, Fauci continued to criticize the administration's goals, telling NBC's "Today" that he was "disappointed" that the USA did not meet the projection of "20 million doses into people today, by the end of the (year) 2020".

As of Sunday, more than 549,000 people in the United States have died from COVID-19, according to data analyzed by Johns Hopkins University.

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