• Dr. Anthony Fauci says "every country has suffered" from COVID-19 but none worse than the U.S.
  • Fauci's comments come on the heels of President Donald Trump's claim the virus is "under control."
  • "The numbers don’t lie," said Fauci, pointing to the 4.97 million cases and 162,000 deaths in the U.S.

The U.S. has the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world but can still stave off disaster with a unified national response, contends Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

As of Wednesday, the U.S. has endured 4.97 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 162,000 deaths, based on Worldometer data. Representing just 4% of the world's total population, the U.S. accounts for 26% of total cases (18.96 million) and 23% of total deaths (710,000).

In fact, the numbers aren't even close. Brazil (2.96 million total cases) and India (1.96 million) round out the top three most infected countries. Brazil also is a distant second in total deaths with 97,000 , followed by Mexico with 49,000 deaths.

In an interview Wednesday with CNN, Fauci said "every country has suffered" from COVID-19, but he also admitted Americans, "have suffered as much or worse than anyone."

“Yeah, it is quantitatively if you look at it, it is," replied Dr. Fauci when asked if the U.S. has the world’s worst COVID-19 outbreak. "I mean the numbers don’t lie." Fauci added the situation in the U.S. is "quite, quite concerning" when one looks at the number of infections and deaths.

In explaining the reasons for the crisis, Fauci said when COVID-19 first showed-up in January, the nation didn’t respond with a coordinated effort. He noted states were later able to diminish cases to the point where the national total leveled-off at 20,000 new infections per day in April.

On the other hand, Fauci said the high numbers allowed the virus that causes COVID-19 to resurge in some states as they reopened. SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is the virus that causes COVID-19.

Despite this shortcoming, Fauci remains confident the U.S. can quell this surging outbreak without resorting to lockdowns that hurt the economy and individual Americans.

“We can do much better, and we can do much better without locking down, and I think that strange binary approach, either you lock down or you let it all fly, there’s some place in the middle when we can open the economy and still avoid these kind of surges that we’re seeing,” Fauci explained.

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Widely respected health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci is pictured. POOL/Al Drago

Fauci drove home the point the U.S. needs a unified response to the raging pandemic. He also urges people of all ages, including young people, to help suppress COVID-19 outbreaks across the country.

“Any demographic group that’s not seriously trying to get to the endgame of suppressing this, it will continue to smolder and smolder and smolder,” he said.

Fauci's assertions belie repeated claims by President Donald Trump the pandemic in the U.S. is firmly under control thanks to his actions.

In a tense interview with Axios on HBO Monday, Trump again falsely claimed the COVID-19 outbreak is "under control." Confronted with the reality more than a thousand Americans are dying each day from the disease, Trump muttered: "They are dying. That's true. And you -- it is what it is."

"But that doesn't mean we aren't doing everything we can. It's under control as much as you can control it."