Dr. Anthony Fauci recently weighed in on the Ukraine conflict. According to Fauci, a prolonged conflict have “devastating” effect on tuberculous control in Eastern Europe. “[The war] could be devastating, quite frankly,” Dr Fauci, the chief medical officer of the United States, told The Telegraph in an interview.
“As a public health official, as a scientist, and as an infectious disease expert, I’m very worried about the disruption that has already happened and that will continue,” Fauci said. He criticized the “indiscriminate attacks” on Ukranian civilians and warned of an impending healthcare disaster. “Hospitals being moved to cellars, clinics having to close, are going to have a terrible impact on TB and any other diseases – HIV, infectious disease of children.”
Prior to COVID-19, TB was the world’s leading infectious disease killer and will likely return to the top spot as the pandemic ends. In 2020, TB was responsible for 1.5 million deaths worldwide. While TB deaths had decreased since 2005, since the pandemic they have risen. Fauci said this was in part due to COVID-19-related healthcare disruptions, which led to less people being diagnosed or adequately treated.
Fauci also voiced his concern that the war in Ukraine will disrupt COVID-19 vaccination programs for children. “[The war] is going to interrupt the vaccine programs of kids,” Fauci told The Telegraph. “This is going to be a really terrible public health tragedy, in addition to a terrible tragedy of life lost in war.”
After two years of finding himself prominently featured by the world’s most viewed media networks, Fauci’s media appearances have been sparse over the last month.