• As of this week, the US has now recorded more than 500,000 coronavirus deaths since the COVID pandemic began.
  • The White House hosted a candlelit remembrance ceremony on Monday to honor those who’ve died from COVID-19.
  • White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said the number of deaths suggests that the US response to the pandemic has been worse than almost anywhere else in the world.

Earlier this week, the US passed a grim milestone amid a pandemic that’s given us so many already. The US has now recorded more than 500,000 deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus, those being victims of an outbreak that’s also now generated more than 28 million reported infections in the US over the past year.

The Biden administration, for its part, decided to call attention to that new record of coronavirus deaths on Monday, with a candlelit remembrance ceremony at the White House — including President Joe Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and her husband Doug Emhoff — meant to honor the lives of the tens of thousands of Americans who’ve died from the virus. “We often hear people described as ordinary Americans,” Biden said during the memorial. “There’s no such thing. There’s nothing ordinary about them. The people we lost were extraordinary.”

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Speaking of extraordinary, White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci sees something else, too, when he looks at that grim record of coronavirus deaths — proof that the US response to the pandemic has been extraordinarily bad. Perhaps even worse than anywhere else in the world.

In spite of being a “highly developed, rich country,” Dr. Fauci told ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos that the US has “done worse than most any other country” in responding to the coronavirus pandemic: “It’s so tough to just go back and try and, you know, do a metaphorical autopsy on how things went. It was just bad. It is bad now.”

The next closest country to the US in terms of coronavirus deaths is Brazil, which has only recorded about half the number of deaths that the US has.

Even so, some people have greeted Dr. Fauci’s remarks not with an understanding of all the individual behaviors that contributed to making them so — people refusing to wear masks, socially distance, refrain from gatherings, traveling, and eating indoors, for example. Some people, instead, think Dr. Fauci should be… fired?

Here are some reactions to Dr. Fauci’s comments from Twitter:

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Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.