Watch: Dr. Anthony Fauci condemns the 'unconscionable' politicization of COVID-19 vaccines

Watch: Dr. Anthony Fauci condemns the 'unconscionable' politicization of COVID-19 vaccines
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A September 2022 study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research stated that “political affiliation has become a potential risk factor for COVID-19, amid evidence that Republican-leaning counties have had higher COVID-19 death rates than Democrat-leaning counties and evidence of a link between political party affiliation and vaccination views.”

In an interview with NBC’s Nightly News, Dr. Anthony Fauci criticized the “extreme” ideological divide he says is the reason for millions of preventable deaths since COVID-19 first appeared in the United States.

Noting that more Republicans than Democrats have died of COVID, Fauci told NBC News’ Lester Holt, “I mean, it’s just extraordinary that you have under-vaccination in red states and good levels of vaccination in blue states, which gets translated into a disproportionate amount of suffering and death among Republicans compared to Democrats.”

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“That’s completely crazy,” Fauci said.

During his conversation with Fauci, Holt pointed out that Fauci was “famously beat up by voices on the right,” but noted that on the left, people were “elevating [him] to sainthood.”

“If Dr. Fauci said it, it’s good,” Holt said.

Fauci responded, “I think those extremes are, in some respects, inappropriate and sometimes really counterproductive.” He continued, “The conspiracy theories and distortions of reality and propagations of untruths are also counterproductive.”

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AlterNet previously reported that “a common talking point among anti-vaxxers is that if COVID-19 vaccines worked, there wouldn’t be so many ‘breakthrough’ infections.” But the reality is that vaccines are effective when: (1) infections are less likely to occur, and (2) the infections that do occur tend to be less severe. President Biden, Fauci, First Lady Jill Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Kamala Harris were all considered ‘breakthrough’ COVID-19 cases, but none of them had especially serious infections or needed to be hospitalized.”

Fauci recalled that at the height of the pandemic in 2020 there were up to 800,000-900,000 cases and about 3,000 deaths per day. Now, the number of daily deaths is around 300.

“It just is unconscionable that you have a life-saving intervention in the form of a vaccine, that you know is safe and highly effective in protecting you from advanced disease,” he said. “And you have people and groups of people who don’t get vaccinated based on political ideology.”

As the country faces a "tripledemic" of three viruses – the flu, COVID-19, and RSV – in the coming months, Dr. Fauci “is not afraid” to recommend a return to masking. “I’m not talking about mandating anything, I’m talking about common sense [that says], ‘I really don’t want to risk myself getting infected and even more so to someone who’s a vulnerable member of my family.’”

According to NBC, Fauci will likely make his last public appearance as Biden’s chief medical advisor for a virtual White House town hall urging people to get Covid boosters ahead of the winter.

Although Fauci is stepping down from his role, he says he doesn’t plan to retire anytime soon.

Watch the interview below or at this link.

READ MORE: The United States is prepared for terrorists, not anti-vaxxers

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