U.S. expert Fauci backtracks on criticism of UK on vaccine: NBC - Metro US

U.S. expert Fauci backtracks on criticism of UK on vaccine: NBC

FILE PHOTO: Senate HELP Committee's update on COVID-19 and progress toward safely getting back to work and schools

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Friday he was reacting to gloating by a British television interviewer when he criticized the country’s quick approval of the first coronavirus vaccine.

Fauci, longtime director of a leading U.S. government health agency and member of the White House coronavirus task force, apologized for his comments late on Thursday.

“It was just one of those things where I sat down in front of the TV with a British TV station and the first thing they said was, ‘Ah, we beat you guys. We beat the Americans to the punch’. And I kind of reacted back at him when I think I probably should not have done,” Fauci told NBC’s “Today” show.

British regulators approved the Pfizer Inc vaccine against COVID-19 on Wednesday, saying it had rigorously assessed the vaccine data and had cut no corners.

“When I got back on BBC I explained that that was taken out of context. Now the Brits are good. They know what they’re doing — I mean they’re really pros, so that was just not really what I meant,” Fauci said.

Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been asked by President-elect Joe Biden to remain in that post and also be his chief medical adviser

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Alex Richardson and Catherine Evans)

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