Fauci warns against 'false narrative', promoted by Trump emphasising on lower coronavirus death rate

WION Web Team
New York, New York, United States of America Published: Jul 08, 2020, 02:48 PM(IST)

Dr Anthony Fauci (file photo) Photograph:( AFP )

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Fauci, one of the health experts serving on the White House coronavirus task force, appeared on a livestreamed press conference with Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama on Tuesday.

Top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci on Tuesday warned that Americans shouldn't take comfort in the dropping death rate among coronavirus patients in the US even as President Donald Trump says the trend is evidence of a successful response to the virus.

Fauci, one of the health experts serving on the White House coronavirus task force, appeared on a livestreamed press conference with Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama on Tuesday.

"It's a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death," Fauci said.

His comments come after the White House repeatedly pointed to the falling US mortality rate as proof of a productive response despite states across the country grappling with record-breaking spikes in the virus.

Trump tweeted on Monday that "the Mortality Rate for the China Virus in the U.S. is just about the LOWEST IN THE WORLD," doubling down on this stance with a subsequent tweet definitively declaring that "we now have the lowest Fatality (Mortality) Rate in the World."

Conversely, while US coronavirus mortality rates have declined recently, they are not the lowest in the world. At least 14 have lower death rates than the US.

Fauci also said he does not anticipate a federal coronavirus vaccine mandate in the US once one is made available.

He also explained he "could see individual institutions mandating a vaccine" but not at the nationwide level "merely because of all the situations you have encroaching upon a person's freedom to make their own choice of their own health."

While Fauci did not publicly comment on the contradiction between his comments and that of the president, he said he thinks "any politicization of anything that's a public health matter has negative consequences, and that's the reason why we try as best as we can not to let political issues get involved."

Fauci stressed the importance of face masks in combating the virus -- something he said he's "strongly in favour" of mandating, just not on the federal level.

White House officials are also now discussing taking a more active role in encouraging masks. After appearing at a string of events without social distancing and where masks were scarce, Trump's campaign said Sunday it would host a New Hampshire campaign rally where attendees will be "provided a face mask that they are strongly encouraged to wear."

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