National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins said Sunday he believes vaccine requirements could make a difference in slowing the rapid spread of COVID-19 and acknowledged how politics has polarized public opinion on pandemic mitigation strategies.

“Why is it that a mandate about a vaccine or wearing a mask suddenly becomes a statement of your political party? We never should have let that happen.” Collins told ABC “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos.

“Come on, America — we’re incredibly polarized about politics, we don’t really need to be polarized about a virus that’s killing people,” Collins continued. “We ought to be doing everything we can to save lives.”

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