Dr. Fauci says political discourse has hurt the pandemic; recounts death threats he, his family have received


PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — From lawmakers discussing how much money to give to Americans, to Twitter spats between Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Pres. Donald Trump, politics have not stayed out the pandemic in the slightest.

“If there was anything we could’ve done differently, it was lay aside political or ideological differences, get on the same page, to realize we are all in this together and the only way we are going to get out of it is by getting out of it together as a unified nation.”

Dr. Fauci | director | national institute of allergy and infectious diseases

While Dr. Fauci would not comment on any specific person or entity, he did say we are currently “living in a very divisive period.”

Dr. Fauci called the riots on the nation’s capitol “troubling,” and said while you are trying to address a global pandemic, you have divisiveness, and things get mixed up with political ideologies, “that is never a good thing when you’re trying to fight a pandemic.”

Dr. Fauci said this is the worst pandemic we’ve seen since the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Aside from the challenges the United States have faced from the pandemic, Dr. Fauci has gone through some serious challenges of his own over the last year.

“It has certainly consumed my life. Not needing any sympathy about it, but it’s the truth, I haven’t had a day off since last January (2020). I feel it’s something we need to do because of the enormity of the problem, which requires 24/7. That’s what I and many of my colleagues have given to it,” Dr. Fauci said. “It’s been exhausting, the thing that has underscored this divisiveness that we’re talking about, is that I’ve experienced threats upon my life and harassment of my family. Including my wife and children, by people who disagree with my public health message.”

“Now try and get your arms around that one. That when you disagree with someone’s public health message, you actually threaten their life. That’s no way to contain an outbreak when people feel so strongly about things that they let a public health message trigger that kind of response,” Dr. Fauci added.

This is part 4 of the interview with Dr. Fauci. You can find the other segments below.

Part 1: Dr. Fauci says U.K. strain more contagious, but not more deadly than original. Concerned about other strain in South Africa

Part 2: Life returning to normal.

Part 3: Reopening the country, WHO investigation in China.

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