Dr. Anthony Fauci slammed the country’s 'federalist approach' to the coronavirus pandemic in a new interview Monday, saying the disparity in the different states’ responses has been a 'major weakness' in combating the spread.
“The fundamental tenet of our government is the federalist approach, where you have the United States of America, which is 50 states and essential government,” Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told BBC Radio 4. “But the states are very often given a considerable amount of leeway in doing things the way they want to do it, as opposed to in response to federal mandates, which are relatively rarely given.
“And although that works well for certain things,” he continued, “when you’re dealing with a pandemic that doesn’t know the difference between the border of New York and New Jersey, or Florida and Georgia, or Texas and Oklahoma — that you have to have a degree of consistency in your response, particularly if you’re talking about wanting to shut down for a period of time and what the guidelines are when you want to reopen.”
Dr. Fauci lamented that the inconsistency among the states’ responses to the pandemic, among other factors, is making it harder to get it under control.
“What we’ve had was a considerable disparity with states doing things differently in a non-consistent way,” he said. “There have been a lot of factors that have led to the fact that, unfortunately for us, the United States has been the hardest hit country in the world, but I believe that disparity among how states do things has been a major weakness in our response.”