How did the U.S. squander a months-long lead to fall behind Canada on COVID-19 vaccinations, leaving it short of herd immunity while a deadly variant wallops unvaccinated pockets of the country? U.S. official Anthony Fauci blames his country’s politics.
News that Canada has surged past the U.S. in vaccinations for COVID-19 prompted a number of headlines in American and international news outlets, given how remote this scenario seemed months ago.
It’s also prompted some finger-pointing within the U.S.
One person making apparent his increasing frustration with developments in the U.S. is Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
He was asked in a CNN interview what happened and why Canada had surpassed the U.S. in the rate of first and second doses despite the U.S.’s months-long head start.
Fauci blamed politics in the U.S.
“Canada is doing better not because we are trying any less than they are trying. It’s because in Canada you don’t have that divisiveness of people not wanting to get vaccinated, in many respects, on the basis of ideology and political persuasion,” he replied.
“I mean, political differences are totally understandable and a natural part of the process in any country. But when it comes to a public health issue, in which you’re in the middle of a deadly pandemic and the common enemy is the virus, it just doesn’t make any sense….
“That’s a public health issue. That’s not political. That’s not ideological. It’s a public health issue.”