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Public Distrust of Health Officials Is Anthony Fauci’s Legacy

Want to reduce the number of people against vaccination? Have a public health system that is run with some integrity. And don't get bought off by Pfizer.


Am I suggesting the nation's most fined company for criminal fraud tried to influence COVID public health policy through nefarious means?



*That's right folks! Pfizer sits atop the podium with over $6 Billion in fines paid to date for fraud. PS. Above is my all-time hero, Francis Urquhart (BBC version, House of Cards).


Public Distrust of Health Officials Is Anthony Fauci’s Legacy

He presented his judgment as beyond reproach, while consistently flip-flopping and silencing dissent.

Allysia Finley hedcutBy Allysia Finley



Nov. 27, 2022 3:36 pm ET


Anthony Fauci gave his final press conference last week as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a post he has held since 1984. Regrets about how he handled the Covid-19 pandemic? He had a few, but too few to mention.


Asked how “dubious” public-health advice from the Trump White House affected progress during the pandemic, Dr. Fauci boasted: “Well, you remember, if you were around, that at this podium I contradicted those, which set off a whole series of things in my life.”


He added: “The people who have correct information, who take science seriously, who don’t have strange, way-out theories about things but who base what they say on evidence and data need to speak up more, because the other side that just keeps putting out misinformation and disinformation seems to be tireless in that effort.”


“Strange, way-out theories”? You can only guess whom he had in mind—those who argued Covid likely leaked from a Chinese lab, opposed lockdowns in favor of focusing protection on the most vulnerable, questioned the “science” of mask mandates, and said schools should remain open since children were at low risk of illness.


Dr. Fauci said he wants to be remembered for his work on infectious diseases, such as HIV and Ebola, prior to the pandemic. “Although Covid is really, really very important, it is a fragment of the total 40 years that I’ve been doing it.” Alas, Dr. Fauci’s legacy will be marred by his divisive and arrogant leadership on that really, really very important fragment.


Start with his dissembling on masks. When the virus began to spread in the U.S., he advised that “there’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.” He later reversed himself and acknowledged his earlier guidance was based on worries that there wouldn’t be enough masks for healthcare workers. In other words, he told an expedient lie.


Weeks later he endorsed universal masking even though studies showed cloth masks don’t protect against other respiratory viruses and there was little evidence they would do so against Covid. Over time it became clear that Covid was spreading through aerosols, tiny particles that cloth and surgical masks do a poor job of filtering out.


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So Dr. Fauci recommended double masking, for which there was scant evidence. “If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on—it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective,” he told NBC News’s TODAY.


Yet common sense also suggested lockdowns wouldn’t work. When China locked down its Wuhan region in January 2020, Dr. Fauci expressed doubts in an interview with CNN: “Historically, when you shut things down, it doesn’t have a major effect.”


Here, too, Dr. Fauci swiftly reversed his position. The initial call by Trump public-health officials for “15 days to slow the spread” in March 2020 stretched into two years as Dr. Fauci invoked one virus flare-up after another to argue for keeping public restrictions.


Some scientists in fall 2020 offered an alternative strategy of “focused protection” for the elderly and high-risk patients in a document called the Great Barrington Declaration. “Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19,” it read. “Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal.”


Dr. Fauci worked with then-National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins to “take down” the declaration. “This proposal from the three fringe epidemiologists . . . seems to be getting a lot of attention—and even a co-signature from Nobel Prize winner Mike Leavitt at Stanford,” Dr. Collins wrote to Dr. Fauci in an email. “There needs to be a quick and devastating published take down of its premises,” he continued. The two subsequently did multiple media interviews denouncing the strategy in an effort to chill debate. “It’s nonsense,” Dr. Fauci told ABC.


Dr. Fauci also dismissed the hypothesis that the virus leaked from a lab, perhaps to protect his agency, which helped fund gain-of-function virus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Researchers who have studied the virus’s genetic sequence say it most likely leaked from the lab, but without assistance from China this may be impossible to prove.


Yet in an interview with Wired magazine this month, Dr. Fauci implied that those who disagree are ignorant or malicious: “I believe that anybody who studies this situation can’t in good conscience say that the lab leak is the most likely explanation.” During last week’s press conference, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre slapped down reporters who asked Dr. Fauci about the virus’s origins and lab-leak investigation.


How dare anyone question Dr. Fauci’s expertise and judgment? If you don’t agree with him, you don’t believe in science. “It’s easy to criticize, but they’re really criticizing science because I represent science. That’s dangerous,” Dr. Fauci asserted last November. But open debate and inquiry is the essence of the scientific method.


Like all of us, Dr. Fauci is a mere mortal who has character flaws, hubris most of all. He presented himself as infallible. Many liberals all but worshiped him. His high-handedness and lack of candor with the public sowed distrust in health officials and vaccines. No matter how much he pleads to the contrary, that will be his legacy.

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