Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said Sunday that earlier efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. “obviously” could have saved lives but that top health officials faced “a lot of pushback about shutting things down.”Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was responding on CNN’s “State of the Union” to a New York Times report saying President Donald Trump’s top public health officials concluded by the third week of February that they should recommend to the president a new approach to COVID-19 that included social distancing steps. But according to The Times, the White House “focused instead on messaging and crucial additional weeks went by before their views were reluctantly accepted by the president — time when the virus spread largely unimpeded.””We look at it from a pure health standpoint,” Fauci said on CNN. “We make a recommendation. Often, the recommendation is taken. Sometimes, it’s not. But … it is what it is. We are where we are right now.””Again, it’s the ‘what would have, what could have,'” Fauci said when asked whether lives could have been spared had social distancing been implemented weeks earlier. “It’s very difficult

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