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I’ve never heard Dr Anthony Fauci‘s cell phone voicemail greeting, but I imagine it says: ‘Yes, I’ll come on your show.’
For someone whose day job is supposed to be leading America’s scientific and medical war against Covid-19, he seems to have an incredible amount of spare time for self-promotional media interviews.
Barely a week seems to go by without him popping up on TV or in newspapers and magazines, and as time has gone on, Fauci’s become more and more brazenly political in those interviews since the Biden administration took over.
Yesterday, he was everywhere again, speaking about the new Omicron variant.
What he said in these new interviews should give every American serious for concern, not just about the latest Covid threat but about some of the outrageously partisan statements the country’s top doctor made.
The most egregious came on CBS’s Face The Nation when Fauci burst out laughing after he was asked about Republican senator Ted Cruz calling for him to be prosecuted over his links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology from where many think the coronavirus outbreak leaked.
‘I should be prosecuted?’ he chuckled. ‘What happened on January 6th, senator?’
Barely a week seems to go by without Dr. Anthony Fauci popping up on TV or in newspapers and magazines, and as time has gone on, he’s become more and more brazenly political in those interviews since the Biden administration took over. What he said in these new interviews should give every American serious for concern, not just about the latest Covid threat but about some of the outrageously partisan statements the country’s top doctor made
The most egregious came on CBS’s Face The Nation when Fauci (right) burst out laughing after he was asked by Margaret Brennan (right) about Republican senator Ted Cruz calling for him to be prosecuted over his links to the Wuhan Institute of Virology from where many think the coronavirus outbreak leaked
The interviewer, Margaret Brennan, then asked if he thought he was being used as a scapegoat to deflect attention from President Trump’s culpability over the Capitol riots.
‘Of course!’ Fauci smirked. You have to be asleep not to figure that one out!’
‘Well,’ pressed Brennan, ‘there are a lot of Republican senators taking aim at this.’
‘That’s okay,’ replied Fauci, ‘I’m just gonna do my job. I’m gonna be saving lives, and they are gonna be lying.’
Brennan then said: ‘It seems another level of danger to play politics around matters of life and death.’
To which Fauci, without a trace of self-awareness, nodded: ‘Exactly. And to me, that’s unbelievably bad, because all I want to do is save people’s lives.’
Right, and the best way to do that is to alienate half the country from listening to you by trading in political point-scoring!
It’s always a worrying indicator of rampant egomania when a public figure starts talking about themselves in the third person, and sure enough that’s what Fauci then did.
‘Anybody who’s looking at this carefully realizes that there’s a distinct anti-science flavor to this,’ he said. ‘If they get up and criticize science, nobody’s going to know what they’re talking about. But if they get up and really aim their bullets at Tony Fauci — people could recognize there’s a person there, so it’s easy to criticize. But they’re really criticizing science, because I represent science, and that’s dangerous.’
Wow. He sounds more like a religious leader berating non-believers than a scientist trying to grapple with a pandemic that has seen more scientific flip-flopping than any global medical crisis in my lifetime.
The parallel is apt because the more he’s been attacked, the more self-righteous, zealous and preachy Fauci has grown.
Senator Rand Paul responded to comments made about him by Dr Anthony Fauci on Sunday. He has called for Fauci to be investigated over suggestions that NIH money went towards funding risky ‘gain of function’ research to modify coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab
Now aged 80, and said to be ‘exhausted’ after working every day for the past 20 months, he’s showing signs of a stubborn, irascible resistance to any challenge to his, often contradictory, pronouncements that is now doing more harm than good.
The problem with Fauci saying he IS the Science is that so often in the pandemic, he’s got the science plain wrong.
In January 2020, when Covid first erupted in China, Fauci declared the virus was ‘not a major threat for the people of the United States and this is not something the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.’
Fauci then said Covid was less concerning than the flu, which again was proven to be total nonsense.
In subsequent weeks, Fauci repeatedly said the public shouldn’t bother buying masks as they were ineffective.
‘If you look at the masks that you buy in a drug store,’ he said, ‘the leakage around that doesn’t really do much to protect you.’
He also told 60 Minutes: ‘People should not be walking around in masks.’
Three months later, he conceded masks do work, and since then has demanded everyone wear them, though his guidance on when and where people should wear them has changed more often than a chameleon having an acid trip.
Fauci initially opposed President Trump’s China travel ban, then later said it had saved lives.
He’s also long dismissed the theory that Covid could have leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, insisting it had natural origins. Yet now many top scientists believe the lab leak theory is far more likely.
More damagingly for Fauci, it transpired that the Wuhan lab received $600,000 in funding from the NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health and run by Fauci) and emails were revealed showing he was informed early into the pandemic that experts were suspicious of the ‘natural origin’ theory.
Fauci’s links to the lab may be even murkier.
Ted Cruz is one of several Republicans accusing Fauci of lying, which the scientist claims is an attempt to distract from Donald Trump
Republican senators including Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have called for him to be investigated over suggestions that NIH money went towards funding risky ‘gain of function’ research to modify coronaviruses at the Wuhan lab.
Back in May, Fauci testified that the NIH ‘has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.’
However, he also said during that same hearing that there was no way to know if Chinese scientists working at the lab had lied and conducted gain of function experiments on bat coronaviruses using U.S. tax dollars.
‘There’s no way of guaranteeing that,’ Fauci admitted.
Given this response, the gravity of the claims, and the consequences for the whole world, it doesn’t seem unreasonable for Fauci to be properly investigated as to exactly what did go down at that Wuhan lab involving US funding.
And his furious reaction to any suggestions he’s not being entirely transparent about it raises more suspicion than it dampens.
Other Fauci pandemic flip-flops include saying he didn’t believe in federal vaccine mandates, then recently endorsing some, and telling Americans in October to be wary of gathering for Christmas before performing an immediate U-turn after his comments provoked outrage and telling Americans to have a ‘good normal Christmas’.
As Fauci’s erratic media appearances have increased, so has his stardom.
The New York Times reported that his likeness is now on ‘socks, coffee mugs, prayer books, candles and cupcakes’ – and his fans tried to nominate him as People magazine’s 2020 Sexiest Man Alive.
There’s even been a movie about him entitled ‘Fauci’ like he’s some kind of one-name superstar brand like Oprah or Adele.
It’s hard not to conclude that all the attention’s gone to his scholarly head.
In July 2020, with the pandemic’s first wave barely over, Fauci appeared on the cover of InStyle celebrity magazine looking like a Hollywood studio boss in big dark shades by a pool.
In the accompanying interview, he admitted telling people not to wear masks had been wrong, but said he did it because there was a mask shortage and he was concerned there wouldn’t be enough for health workers.
This wasn’t the only brazen lie he’s told the public.
In April 2021, he told the New York Times, ‘When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent. Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.’
How are Americans supposed to trust him in this crisis when he admits to deliberately misleading them like this?
Let me be clear: I don’t think Dr Anthony Fauci is a bad man.
He’s indisputably an outstanding scientist who has done a lot of great work for his country for many decades.
But to borrow pandemic language, his ego has been spiking to dangerous heights in this crisis, and his demands for Republican senators to be prosecuted exposed a political bias that has no place in the office he holds.
Bottom line: if you want the American people to trust you, it’s not a good idea to accuse elected representatives of half the country of being lying crooks, however much you’ve been provoked.
With his arrogant partisan performances this weekend, Fauci’s laid bare the inherent weakness of his obsession with going on TV.
The more he talks, the less many Americans either like or believe him.
They just see a narcissistic blow-hard who likes the sound of his own voice and constantly changes his mind.
We all saw the damage that Trump’s gigantic ego did to public trust about Covid, with his absurd statements about things like injecting yourself with bleach to defeat it.
In a way, Fauci’s ego is just as dangerous because when he says he IS the Science, he implies every word he says is gospel.
But as we know, when it comes to facts about Covid, the good doctor’s proven himself to be extremely fallible.
And the more he contradicts himself on TV, the more he erodes public trust.
If, as he insists, his only interest is in saving lives, then it’s time Anthony Fauci put his ego away, stayed off TV and shut the f*ck up.