Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday mirrored on the U.S. response to the Covid-19 pandemic in what was possible his final public briefing because the nation’s high infectious illness professional.

Nearly three years after Covid-19 first arrived on America’s shores, Fauci stated he by no means imagined the pandemic would final so lengthy and take so many lives.

“I did not 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, advised reporters throughout a Covid replace on the White House.

Fauci is stepping down in December as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases after almost 40 years on the helm and as White House chief medical advisor.

He stated probably the most disturbing characteristic of Covid was the evolution of a number of variants, which upended the U.S. response to the pandemic a number of instances.

When challenged about combined messages given to the general public concerning the virus within the early days of the pandemic, Fauci stated public well being officers had been coping with an evolving outbreak.

Public well being steering modified as a result of details about the virus modified from week to week and month to month, he stated.

Initially well being officers thought the virus unfold from animals to people, however subsequently discovered it unfold very properly between folks, Fauci stated. It additionally turned clear later that the virus was aerosolized and as much as 60% of individuals spreading it had no signs in any respect, he stated.

“The recommendations based on what you know in January, by the time you get to March, April and May — they will change,” Fauci stated. “Understandably that leads to a question on the part of the public: Why do they keep changing things?”

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Fauci stated one of the troublesome components of the pandemic for him was the politicization of public well being below the Trump administration.

Noting that many individuals have refused to get the Covid vaccine for ideological causes, Fauci stated, “As a physician, it pains me because I don’t want to see anybody get infected, I don’t want to see anybody hospitalized and I don’t want to see anybody die from Covid.”

“Whether you’re a far-right Republican or a far-left Democrat, it doesn’t make any difference to me,” he stated. “I look upon it the same way as I did in the emergency room in the middle New York City when I was taking care of everybody who was coming in off the street.”

Though Covid deaths have declined dramatically, the virus remains to be killing greater than 300 folks a day on common, in keeping with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public well being officers have stated those that are dying are primarily aged or different susceptible people who aren’t updated on their vaccines or aren’t receiving remedy after breakthrough infections.

Fauci referred to as on Americans to get a Covid booster to guard their well being forward of one other anticipated surge of an infection this winter as folks journey and collect for the vacations.

For many years Fauci was revered on either side of the political aisle, however he turned a lightening rod for a lot of conservatives because the response to the pandemic turned more and more politicized below former President Donald Trump.

House Republicans, who now have a majority after the midterm elections, have vowed to launch an investigation into the origins of the pandemic and name on Fauci to testify.

Fauci on Tuesday stated he would cooperate totally: “If there are oversight hearings I absolutely will cooperate fully and testify before the Congress. I have no trouble testifying — we can defend and explain everything that we’ve said.”