President Donald Trump has been showing urgency to move forward by reopening the nation despite a recent surge in new COVID-19 cases in some states.
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has been warning people about the risk of further spread of the deadly virus.
On Wednesday, Dr. Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), joined the podcast of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “Learning Curve” and gave his insights on the ongoing pandemic and the vaccine development process.
He said “anti-science bias” in the nation could be problematic. “One of the problems we face in the United States is that unfortunately, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are — for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable — they just don’t believe science and they don’t believe authority,” he said.
“So when they see someone up in the White House, which has an air of authority to it, who’s talking about science, that there are some people who just don’t believe that — and that’s unfortunate because, you know, science is truth,” he added.
Dr. Fauci, who is the key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, continued, “It’s amazing sometimes the denial there is. It’s the same thing that gets people who are anti-vaxxers, who don’t want people to get vaccinated, even though the data clearly indicate the safety of vaccines. That’s really a problem.”
As far as the vaccine development process is concerned, Dr. Fauci said a Phase 1 trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate happened at record speed, adding that the nation began the development of the experimental vaccine ion January 15.
He said, “62 days later, we had a product that we put into clinical trial, in a Phase I to see if it’s safe and does it induce an immune response. That is overwhelmingly the quickest that has ever been done.”
Dr. Fauci also talked about why COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting black Americans.
“African-Americans have suffered disproportionately from coronavirus disease,” he said. “They’ve suffered in that their rate of infection is higher because of the nature of the economic status that many of them find themselves in where they’re outside working, being unable to physically separate.” “And then when they do get infected, given the social determinants of health which make it for them, have a higher incidence of diseases like hypertension, obesity, diabetes,” Dr. Fauci added. “They are at much greater risk of suffering the deleterious consequences including death.”