Fauci: US political divisions helped push Covid deaths past 500,000

CHICAGO: The United States' top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, said political divisiveness contributed significantly to the "stunning" US Covid-19 death toll, which has passed 500,000.

The country had recorded more than 28 million cases and 500,054 deaths as of Monday.

Dr Fauci said the pandemic arrived in the US as it was riven by political divisions in which wearing a mask became a political statement rather than a public health measure.

"Even under the best of circumstances, this would have been a very serious problem," he said, noting that despite strong adherence to health measures, countries like Germany and Britain struggled with the virus.

"However, that does not explain how a rich and sophisticated country can have the most percentage of deaths and be the hardest-hit country in the world," said Dr Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "That I believe should not have happened." - REUTERS