Fauci compares COVID-19 fight to World War II

"We're in a war," Fauci said, "It's kind of like we're halfway through World War II."

Updated: December 20, 2021 - 3:43pm

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Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday compared the fight against COVID-19 to World War II on ABC's "This Week" with Jonathan Karl.

Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief White House medical adviser, will turn 81 this week. Karl asked if he feels a "responsibility" to continue working until the pandemic is "under control." 

"There's no way I’m going to walk away from this until we get this under control," Fauci responded. "We're in a war, Jon. It's kind of like we're halfway through World War II, and you decide, ‘I think I’ve had enough of this. I’m walking away.’ You can’t do that. You've gotta finish it. And we're gonna finish this and get back to normal."

More than 5.3 million people have died globally from COVID-19 so far, according to the World Health Organization. An estimated 35 million to 60 million people died during World War II.

Fauci also warned during his interview that the newest COVID-19 variant omicron is "really something to be reckoned with. It is really rapidly spreading literally throughout the world and certainly in our own country."

Dr. Fauci said last month that the two year pandemic "will end" but "how quickly we get to the end depends on us, how well we vaccinate, how well we get boosted and how well we do the kinds of things to protect ourselves," according to The Hill.