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  • - Thank you, good morning, everyone, I'm Katty Kay.

  • As Mike Bloomberg just mentioned,

  • public health leaders have been ignored

  • and even attacked during this pandemic.

  • That brings us to our first guest in this News Break,

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci.

  • Dr. Fauci, you are one of the busiest people

  • in America at the moment,

  • so thank you very much for joining this summit.

  • I want to ask you about,

  • what is kind of an anomaly around the world.

  • And that is the politicization

  • as Mike Bloomberg just mentioned of this pandemic,

  • why did it become political in America?

  • - Well, it evolved, Katty,

  • at a time when there was just an extraordinary amount

  • of divisiveness in our country,

  • totally unrelated to COVID-19.

  • I mean, it was there, it was essentially deep seated,

  • we saw more and more strident divisiveness over the years,

  • antedating COVID-19.

  • And then COVID-19 happened

  • right in the middle of an election year.

  • So I think you combine inherent divisiveness to begin with,

  • with the stress and strain of an election year,

  • and it was the worst possible combination you could have

  • for a public health crisis.

  • Because when you have a public health crisis,

  • what you need is everybody pulling together

  • in the same direction.

  • - You have been very clear and warning

  • about the next couple of months.

  • Europe's been heading the same direction,

  • and yet we've seen European nations,

  • in many cases start to flatten the curve.

  • What do you think America needs to do,

  • most urgently, over the next few months

  • in order to follow the European model?

  • - Well, I think everybody uniformly

  • needs to admit that we have a real problem,

  • we've got to own the problem.

  • If you don't own the problem,

  • you're never gonna fix the problem.

  • And we can have,

  • as we're seeing in some parts of the country,

  • what would be equivalent of almost denial, Katty,

  • where people still don't think this is a big deal.

  • They think it's kind of fake news,

  • or a little bit of a hoax or what have you.

  • It's not, it's real, the numbers are absolutely real.

  • We're having record numbers of hospitalization,

  • record numbers of cases,

  • and most recently, deaths.

  • We have a serious issue.

  • We're just coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday,

  • which I'm sure is gonna lead to some sort of a blip

  • if not a surge, in cases,

  • which you usually see two to three weeks after the event.

  • And that leads right up into the beginning

  • of the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays,

  • which are gonna be more travel and more congregating

  • and social settings where people are indoors.

  • - We are having a lot of good news on the vaccine front.

  • But there are alarming studies

  • that show that there is a lack of trust in the vaccine

  • and that a lot of people may not choose to take it.

  • What can you say, and particularly to communities of color

  • to try to encourage people

  • to go ahead and take the COVID vaccine when it's released?

  • - Well, we've gotta be doing a lot of community engagement

  • and community outreach to get people to understand.

  • The two things that bother people,

  • they say, "Well, maybe we did this too quickly."

  • They need to understand

  • the speed is really a reflection

  • of the extraordinary scientific advances

  • that have been made

  • that allowed us to do things in weeks to months

  • that normally would have taken several years.

  • That was not compromising safety,

  • nor was it compromising scientific integrity.

  • The process that went into deciding the safety and efficacy

  • was both independent and transparent.

  • We need to make sure people understand that,

  • particularly those demographic groups

  • that have not been treated well historically,

  • by medical establishment.

  • And I refer specifically to the African American population

  • and to some extent, the Latinx population.

  • So we have a task cut out for us

  • that we've gotta go the extra mile

  • to reach out and engage the community.

  • - And you will still be working on that.

  • Dr. Fauci as ever, thank you.

  • - Good to be with you, thank you for having me.

- Thank you, good morning, everyone, I'm Katty Kay.

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