America’s top COVID adviser praised Australia’s response to the pandemic but warned that no country was safe until the virus was globally under control.

You had the capability and uniformity of your citizens that, when you shut down, you really shut down very effectively, Dr Fauci said.
His perception of a unified Australia might ring false to anyone keeping track of the repeated unilateral state and territory border closures, and the finger-pointing by federal and state leaders over vaccine rollout disruptions.
But when the Commonwealths public health experts have issued advice, states and territories have followed it. Any deviations by the states have been to enact tougher restrictions than those recommended by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), such as border and school closures, and mandatory face masks in response to outbreaks.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced national cabinet a stalwart forum for state, territory and Commonwealth political leaders and their public health advisers since the early days of the pandemic would again meet twice weekly from Monday.
Conversely, the independence afforded the US state leaders led to states ignoring expert advice on face masks, restricted movement and even initial refusals to accept vaccine deliveries.
We still have situations where governors in their independence are essentially defying some of the recommendations and the guidelines of public health, Dr Fauci said.
Dr Anthony Fauci briefs President Joe Biden, who told him, Were going to let science rule in fighting COVID.Credit:Alamy
He said this lack of unity meant the US had fared worse than essentially any other country.
The US had reported more than 31.3 million COVID-19 cases and 562,941 deaths by Tuesday local time.
It is unfortunate we are living right now in our country in a time of profound divisiveness, Dr Fauci said.
He said vaccine hesitancy in the US had nothing to do with justified scepticism but political ideology.
It really is a complication of an anti-science atmosphere that has evolved, again, with a certain type of political persuasion … that scientists dont know what theyre talking about, a lot of this is fake news, a lot of it doesnt really exist, he said. I mean to say things like that, when you have a terrible pandemic looking you straight in the eye in some respects, is almost inexplicable but unfortunately is happening.
Yet the US vaccine rollout has been a monumental success. While Australia has scrapped its vaccine targets and administered just 1.3 million doses, in the US more than 192 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine roughly one-third of the US population and 75.3 million people are fully vaccinated.
Asked what advice the US had for Australias vaccine rollout, Dr Fauci said Mr Biden had made COVID vaccination his very, very top priority.
He made equity a very important part of this. What hes done, for example, is open up community vaccine centres, get vaccines to the pharmacies, develop mobile units to go out to people in poorly accessible areas and got vaccinators people who would be administering the vaccines he got as many out in the field as he possibly could. Those are retired physicians, military personnel, nurses, medical students, as many people as you possibly can to get out there and administer it.
The US vaccination program is effectively racing against the spread of the UK variant, which is fast becoming the most dominant variant in North America.
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