Dr. Anthony Fauci has impressive credentials and a lengthy tenure as a top-level government health official dating back to 1984. But his performance during the COVID-19 pandemic has been abysmal, with politicized non-science-based edicts and frequently reversed “medical advice” that have confused and frightened Americans.
Just a week ago, Fauci made what to some was a stunning admission: “We’ve done worse than most any country” in managing the outbreak, he said. We say “stunning” because Fauci, as head of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is the official most responsible for the U.S. response.
His 2019 pay of $417,608 makes him the nation’s highest paid federal official. As a scientist, he’s held in very high esteem by many, particularly those on the left, who see his sweeping powers – lockdowns, masking, social distancing – as a nifty means of social control. It’s control of 330 million people via social isolation and nonstop browbeating of those who dare to diverge from the oppressive “new normal” we all now experience on a daily basis.
The big problem has been Fauci’s pronunciamentos are often nonsensical, not supported by science or contradictory. “These are my principles,” Groucho Marx once said. “If you don’t like these, I have others.” That’s Fauci.
Take masking, for instance. The Daily Wire counted five different mask policies by Fauci as of Feb. 11. Oops! Make that six. After calling masking “largely symbolic” last spring and telling Americans “don’t wear masks,” he now suggests we need to “double mask” and that it might last into 2022.
This, despite some doctors and researchers claims that masking doesn’t do much. After reviewing multiple studies, the group Science-Based Medicine concluded that “the benefit (of masking) is likely to be modest. It should not be considered full protection, but just a way to reduce the chance of spread a little bit.”
Others note that masking may even hurt users by raising their carbon dioxide intake. Heck, Fauci himself even downplayed masking’s positive effects.
Then there’s his bizarre recent edict that even those vaccinated shouldn’t be allowed to dine inside a restaurant or go to the movies. Why not? No way to know. We do know that neither movie theaters nor restaurants are “superspreader” sites, or even “spreader” sites, for that matter.
The Centers for Disease Control claims from its own very limited survey that restaurants pose a major threat to spreading the virus. But literally tens of thousands of data points from surveys in New York and Minnesota show minuscule infection rates: Just 1.4% of New York cases resulted from restaurants, while 1.7% in Minnesota did.
By the way, data for retailers, gyms, and “hair & personal care” salons were even lower.
This compares with roughly 74% of cases contracted in the home. Should people stop going there, too?
Same is true of school closures. As one blogger aptly noted, “Fauci’s ‘evolving’ positions’ … went all the way from ‘close schools immediately’ to ‘close the bars, open schools’ to ‘schools can only open if the Biden stimulus bill passes.’ “
In short, another incoherent policy robbing millions of children of a year or more of in-place schooling, largely dictated by leftist teachers unions that have shown how little they care about educating kids.
What about the whole idea of “herd immunity”? When the outbreak began, Fauci suggested that 60% or 70% being vaccinated would be enough to stop COVID-19’s march. Now, he says it’s more like 90%, after admitting to The New York Times and others that he basically lied to manipulate people into doing what he wanted them to do.
It’s like a bizarre game of “Simon Says,” with Dr. Fauci as Simon. But it’s not “science,” the left’s new god, that Fauci’s guided by. No, he uses deceptive propaganda and policy pronouncements on behalf of dubious bureaucratic goals that have little to do with hard science, but a lot to do with politics.
Once the Democrats understood that Fauci was politically malleable, the left media followed suit and adopted him as their new hero. He could do no wrong. He even became a heartthrob of sorts, leading the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn to call him “sexy” and CNN’s Alisyn Camerota to wax ecstatic about his many qualities. And, no joke, Rolling Stone ran a piece titled, “We Read Dr. Anthony Fauci-inspired Erotic Fiction So That You Don’t Have To.”
Turning Fauci into a fetish object whose every utterance is treated as scientific gospel has only served to punish the rest of us with interminable lockdowns, quarantines, preventable suicides, isolation, chronic fear, clinical depression, school-less children, lost businesses and jobs, and absurd social distancing rules based on nothing more than guesses,
We’re now well into a massive vaccination program, thanks to former President Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, announced just 10 months ago. By the end of the year, it produced not one but two and now three vaccines to help us banish COVID-19 and return to normal life. With herd immunity on the horizon, we’re almost there.
That is, unless we continue to follow the wrong turns, reversals, delays and just plain bad science that have resulted from Fauci’s bureaucratic malpractice. With half a million dead from a virus that’s only a little more deadly than a bad flu strain, Fauci’s poor policy prescriptions have come up far short of what one might expect of the nation’s highest-paid federal official.
None of the above includes his other, often forgotten policy failures and missteps during earlier disease outbreaks (including ebola in 2014 and AIDs in the 1980s). It’s time for the president and Congress to ask Fauci to resign after 37 years of less-than-spectacular performance. If not, his failures will become theirs.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board