We have to get the schools open, we have to get our country open, we have to open our country. Now we want to do it safely, but we also want to do it as quickly as possible, we can’t keep going on like this.”
That was President Trump in an interview on Thursday. By contrast, Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House coronavirus task force wants to keep most everything shut down. As the president told Maria Bartiromo, “I’ve disagreed,” with Fauci on that question. So has Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a medical doctor and a survivor of COVID-19.
On Tuesday, in a hearing with the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, Paul told Fauci, “I don’t think you are the one person who gets to make a decision. We can listen to your advice but there are people on the other side saying there’s not going to be a surge and we can safely open the economy.” Fauci, who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), did not appreciate the challenge.
“I’m a scientist, a physician, and a public health official,” Fauci said. As his back story would indicate, the description is incomplete, and there might be a problem with the order.
Anthony Fauci earned a medical degree from Cornell University in 1966, but does not list any advanced degrees in molecular biology. So strictly speaking, Fauci is not a virologist, in the league of Luc Montagnier, Frank Fenner, or David Baltimore, among others. Ultimately, Fauci gave up the practice of medicine for a career in bureaucracy.
Way back in 1984, a full 36 years ago, Fauci was hired on with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). There Fauci made a name for himself with the claim that AIDS would ravage the heterosexual community, which turned out to be wrong. For background, see The Myth of Heterosexual AIDS by Michael Fumento, and Inventing the AIDS Virus by Peter Duesberg of UC Berkeley, who is a virologist and molecular biologist.
On Fauci’s watch, NIAID became a major funder of research for what is now known as HIV/AIDS. Fauci knew where the money came from, and could often be found testifying before Congress. He’s good at fundraising. But since the coronavirus showed up from Wuhan, Fauci has showcased his ability to get things wrong.
In January, Fauci told reporters that China was being more transparent than they were during the SARS outbreak of 2003. According to the NIAID boss, “This time around from my perception they look like they’re being quite transparent.” In reality, they were anything but, with lab records and researchers suddenly disappearing.
Also in January, Fauci said it was unclear whether the coronavirus could spread person to person and cited a very low risk to the United States. Fauci said people need not wear masks and then contended they should. No more shaking hands but, according to Fauci, it’s fine to have sex with strangers you meet online.
During the current crisis, the World Health Organization has functioned as a public relations agency for China, and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is the first WHO boss who is not a physician. “Tedros is really an outstanding person,” Fauci said in late March, and “he has been all over this,” a reference to the coronavirus. In the early going, the WHO said the virus could not be spread person to person, and China had handled the pandemic in exemplary fashion.
The most important fact about COVID-19 is the mortality rate, but in press conferences, Fauci has avoided that key indicator and gave preference to various “models” of how the virus might spread. Prophecy is not science, but in early April, Fauci said the coronavirus might become “seasonal” with a resurgence later in the year. On Tuesday, the NIAID boss held to that line.
“If some areas—cities, states, or what have you—jump over those barriers, checkpoints and prematurely open up without having the capability of being able to respond effectively and efficiently,” Fauci testified. “My concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks.”
Therefore, because of what “might” happen, lifting the restrictions closing schools, businesses and limiting travel would lead to “suffering and death” and “turn the clock back instead of going forward.” That progressive classic gave the game away.
With their Russia and Ukraine hoaxes in ruins, and Trump still in office after the impeachment gambit, Democrats have been looking to Fauci as their great white-coat hope against Trump. As Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday, “This will be one of the first opportunities for Dr. Fauci to tell the American people the unvarnished truth without the president lurking over his shoulder.”
President Trump disagrees with Fauci over the reopening plan, and Senator Paul calls him out. On the other hand, you don’t need to be president, or a medical doctor, to challenge Fauci, who is first and foremost a politician.
Anthony Fauci is 79, older than Joe Biden and only a year younger than Nancy Pelosi, who is also good with keeping the country shut down until at least, say, November 3. Unlike Pelosi and Biden, Fauci never once had to face the voters. Millions of unemployed Americans could be forgiven for distancing themselves from the Democrats’ favorite white coat supremacist.