Anthony Fauci's message to Ashley Bloomfield and NZ on COVID-19 vaccination: 'You're doing better than we are'

The United States' top health official has admitted New Zealand is "doing better than we are" in responding to the threat of COVID-19, describing Aotearoa's vaccination and booster rates as "really good".

The President's chief medical advisor Dr Anthony Fauci spoke to Newshub Nation this week about the global pandemic, the US response to coronavirus and his advice to Kiwi counterpart Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

After host Simon Shepherd told Dr Fauci 95 percent of the eligible population in New Zealand is double-vaccinated and 70 percent boosted, he conceded the US needed to improve to reach the same levels.

"That's a really good thing," he said of our vaccination rates.

"In fact, you're doing better than we are doing here with the United States. We have about 65 percent of the total population vaccinated fully, about 70-75 percent having received at least one dose.

"We here in the United States need to do a bit better with regard to vaccinations to begin with, but also with regard to boosters."

Dr Fauci said the data is very clear that a booster shot provides much greater protection than just two jabs from the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

But he said the US was struggling to up its vaccination rates because of the disinformation around COVID-19 and the vaccine, and the divisiveness that had created.

Like Dr Fauci, Dr Bloomfield has been characterised as both a hero and a villain for his role in the Government's COVID-19 response.

Asked what advice he'd give his Kiwi colleague, Dr Fauci told Newshub Nation his main aim was always to provide information based on facts, and to not be "put aback by attacks from people who are attacking you merely because you're telling things to the public that are true".

"There's nothing that I've said that is out of line with very good public health practices, and yet there has been a pushback against that," he said.

"In many respects, people who understand what I'm talking about think highly of me and people who think, for one reason or other, I'm encroaching on their liberty… we get attacked for that, which is really interfering with the broader optimal response to the outbreak."

He told Newshub Nation he'd "really welcome" science shifting away from politics.

"We're seeing [divisiveness] very intensively in the United States - and unfortunately, that does interfere with an optimal response to the outbreak," he said.

"There has been a trend towards anti-science. There has been a normalisation of just untruths and conspiracy theories and things like that. I guess the only way to counter that is to get as much correct information out in a way that people can understand it.

"Social media can have a positive effect by spreading good, true and important and helpful information. But, unfortunately, social media can be an amplifier of things that are not true and things that are very misleading."

Dr Fauci isn't sure how the US can effectively counter COVID-19 disinformation on social media, but said it's a real problem that's getting worse.