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Coronavirus live news: Fauci says political divide added to ‘stunning’ US deaths; Italy ‘misled’ WHO

US death toll passes 500,000; Syria approves Sputnik vaccine; UK government eyes return to normal by end of June

  • Italy ‘misled WHO on pandemic readiness’ weeks before Covid outbreak
  • US coronavirus death toll passes 500,000 after devastating winter surge
  • Thousands of US healthcare workers have died fighting Covid-19
  • See all our coronavirus coverage

Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said political divisiveness contributed significantly to the “stunning” US coronavirus death toll, which on Monday surpassed 500,000 lives lost, Reuters reports.

The country had recorded more than 28 million Covid cases and 500,054 fatalities as of Monday afternoon, according to a Reuters tally of public health data. In an interview with Reuters, Fauci on Monday said the pandemic arrived in the United States as the country was riven by political divisions in which wearing a mask became a political statement rather than a public health measure.

“Even under the best of circumstances, this would have been a very serious problem,” Fauci said, noting that despite strong adherence to public health measures, countries such as Germany and the UK struggled with the virus.

“However, that does not explain how a rich and sophisticated country can have the most percentage of deaths and be the hardest-hit country in the world,” said Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a top adviser to President Joe Biden.

Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic with me, Helen Sullivan.

I’ll be bringing you the latest coronavirus developments for the next few hours _ as always, you can find me (and a movie recommendation) on Twitter, too @helenrsullivan.

Continue reading…

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