LONDON, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- The United States is among a handful of countries that have actually suffered the most from COVID-19 and one of the most important reasons is "a fractured and disparate accessibility to healthcare," top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has said.
"We have individuals who don't have access to care. We have a higher degree of hospitalisation and death in our minority populations as we do in the general population," said Fauci at the 2022 World Economic Forum virtual session, when answering the question why the United States, a "first world", developed, rich economy, is struggling to contain COVID-19.
"We are among a handful of countries that have actually suffered the most...that is really, truly unfortunate and something that we would have hoped would have been avoided," said Fauci.
Moreover, he continued, "it's very disturbing, I believe, to all of us as public health officials and scientists, such a degree of pushback against regular normal, easy to understand public health measures. Reluctance to wear masks. Reluctance to promote vaccination."
"Even at its best, this is such a formidable virus in its ability to do the things it's already done, with multiple waves and multiple surges and multiple variants, but you make the virus have an advantage when you don't implement in a unified way all the very well recognised public health measures, particularly the vaccines," he warned.
The United States has witnessed a new COVID-19 surge since mid-December due to the highly infectious Omicron variant. The country is now averaging more than 765,000 new COVID-19 cases and 1,700 new deaths each day, up significantly week by week, according to the latest data of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The expert also noted that the entire world "is facing, but we certainly are facing it in a very, very disconcerting way in the United States, is the amount of disinformation that is accompanying what should be a problem where everyone pulls together against the common enemy, which is the virus." ■