Dr. Anthony Fauci (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro Jr.)
Dr. Anthony Fauci described the politicization of the coronavirus pandemic as "really unfortunate" on Wednesday.
"The politicization, the hostility, the back and forth is something – I've seen several outbreaks in the last 35 or 40 years, as you know – I've never seen a situation like this where there was so much division," said Fauci José M. Zuñiga, President of the International Association of AIDS Care Providers, at the end of a virtual presentation he gave during the Virtual Fast-Track Cities 2020 conference.
"So you have to be able to function in the context of good public health practice and at the same time everything seems politicized which is really unfortunate," added Fauci.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, spoke the same day Bob Woodward released tapes on which President Trump recognized the severity of the pandemic.
The Johns Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center states that there are more than 6.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States. The pandemic has also killed 191,168 people in that country.
The White House's response to the pandemic has received much criticism. Trump has, among other things, downplayed the impact of the coronavirus in the US and made dubious claims about when a potential vaccine might be available.
Fauci admitted Wednesday that the US government is currently "in one way or another, either directly or indirectly," supporting 6-7 potential vaccines, including three that are currently in Phrase 3 trials. Fauci noted, "We will know if one or more of these are safe and effective" by November or December.
"We are actually cautiously optimistic that we will achieve this goal," he said.
Trump has been saying in the past few days that a vaccine could be ready by next month.
"It is certainly a possibility, but I think it is unlikely that we will get a definitive answer by then," said Fauci.