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US partisanship makes fighting COVID-19 harder: Fauci

America”s top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci said that US partisanship has made the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic harder.

“You have to be having blindfolds on and covering your ears to think that we don”t live in a very divisive society now,” Xinhua news agency quoted Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as saying in a podcast on Thursday.

“You”d have to make the assumption that if there wasn”t such divisiveness, that we would have a more coordinated approach,” he said.

In his latest rebuke to President Donald Trump, Fauci acknowledged that the country has performed poorly in the battle against COVID-19.

“As a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don”t think you can say we”re doing great. I mean, we”re just not,” he said.

Fauci”s remarks stood in sharp contrast to those of Trump, who has repeatedly downplayed the worsening COVID-19 pandemic in the country and encouraged states to quickly reopen their economies.

In a separate interview with The Hill news website also on Thursday, Fauci says hard-hit US states should pause moving forward with reopening their economies.

“I would think we need to get the states pausing in their opening process, looking at what did not work well and try to mitigate that,” he said in the interview.

However, Fauci stopped short of calling for full lockdowns.

“I don”t think we need to go back to an extreme of shutting down,” he said, adding that hard-hit states should take measures including closing bars and avoiding large gatherings.

The US currently accounts for the world”s highest number of infections and fatalities at 3,112,252 and 133,228, respectively.

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