Dr. Anthony Fauci would like the world to know “disinformation” is a very serious problem. No, he didn’t promise to be silent for the rest of the Covid pandemic.
Instead, Dr. Fauci, attending the World Economic Forum at Davos by virtual conference call, complained about others questioning the Science.™
“One of the things the entire world is facing, but we certainly are facing it in a very, very disconcerting way in the United States is the amount of disinformation that is accompanying what should be a problem that everyone pulls together against a common enemy, which is the virus,” he said. “We have disinformation that is entirely destructive to a comprehensive public health endeavor.”
However, Dr. Fauci has been guilty of spreading falsehoods about the Covid pandemic. Infamously, he even admitted to misleading the public that masks were not helpful in a purported attempt to manage the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs).
In February 2020, he advised the general public not to wear masks. However, the guidance was later changed to include any kind of “face covering,” which does not necessarily include PPEs.
“The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material,” he accurately said. “It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keep out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you.”
“I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you are going to a very low risk location,” he added.
The doctor later changed his tune when confronted about why he earlier told people masks weren’t particularly helpful, then advocated that they be mandatory everywhere possible.
“Well, the reason for that is that we were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply,” he said. “And we wanted to make sure that the people namely, the health care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in a harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected.”
It then turned out that Covid wasn’t even “droplet spread,” as he had claimed. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA chief and current Pfizer board member, was interviewed in 2022 and argued against cloth masks.
“Cloth masks aren’t going to provide a lot of protection, that’s the bottom line,” he said. “This is an airborne illness. We now understand that. And a cloth mask is not going to protect you from a virus that spreads through airborne transmission. It could protect better through droplet transmission, something like the flu, but not this coronavirus.”
Throughout the pandemic, Americans were alarmed by child hospitalization rates. But Fauci allowed a false public misconception of the actual threat to continue for years without saying a word.
“But the other important thing is that if you look at the children who are hospitalized, many of them are hospitalized with COVID as opposed to because of COVID,” Fauci recently said. “And what we mean by that — if a child goes in the hospital, they automatically get tested for COVID. And they get counted as a COVID-hospitalized individual. When in fact, they may go in for a broken leg or appendicitis or something like that. So it’s over-counting the number of children who are, quote, ‘hospitalized with COVID,’ as opposed to because of COVID.”
Let us revisit some more falsehoods propagated by Dr. Fauci in his tenure as a chief Covid adviser.
“But this is not a major threat to the people of the United States and this is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about,” he said on January 21, 2020.
“The American people should not be worried or frightened by this. It’s a very, very low risk to the United States, but it’s something we, as public health officials, need to take very seriously,” he said a week later.
Fauci also admitted to misleading people about purported “herd immunity” statistics.
“When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent,” he said. “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.”
Dr. Fauci also strongly condemned states like Florida and Texas for defying his advice, but nonetheless getting superior results to states that locked down and followed his guidance closely.
“My strong advice to them would be to continue to implement the public health measures,” he warned in March 2021. “Now is not the time to pull back.”
Dr. Fauci was then asked in April why Texas hasn’t seen the often predicted surge. “I’m not really quite sure,” he said. “It could be they’re doing things outdoors.”
Fauci then added in his MSNBC interview that it may take weeks to see any effects from re-opening the state on the number of COVID cases.
“I hope they continue to tick down. If they do, that would be great but there’s always the concern when you pull back on methods — particularly on things like indoor dining and bars that are crowded — you could see a delay and then all of a sudden tick right back up,” Fauci said.
Those predictions would never bear fruit. Dr. Fauci, nonetheless, is continuing to dispense his wisdom about the Omicron variant.
“Omicron is highly transmissible, but apparently not very pathogenic,” Fauci said at the WEF virtual forum. “While I hope that remains the case, but that would depend on what new variants emerge going forward.”
“It is very difficult to predict what the new normal would be like,” he added. “I do not think the people would be walking around with masks on forever, but one new normal I would hope for is greater solidarity with each other. I also hope the new normal would include a strong memory about what a pandemic can do to us,” he continued.
It is interesting that Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is America’s highest-paid civil servant and an unelected official who is paid strictly for his scientific perspective, would frame his hope for a “new normal” in political terms.
An article in Cell in 2020 co-authored by Dr. Anthony Fauci and David M. Morens published may be as revealing as many of his many public statements.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic reminds us that overcrowding in dwellings and places of human congregation (sports venues, bars, restaurants, beaches, airports), as well as human geographic movement, catalyzes disease spread,” the article says.
Then it gives a prescription for creating a less pandemic-stricken world: “Radical changes that may take decades to achieve.”
“Living in greater harmony with nature will require changes in human behavior as well as other radical changes that may take decades to achieve: rebuilding the infrastructures of human existence, from cities to homes to workplaces, to water and sewer systems, to recreational and gatherings venues,” Fauci argues. “In such a transformation we will need to prioritize changes in those human behaviors that constitute risks for the emergence of infectious diseases.”
“Chief among them are reducing crowding at home, work, and in public places as well as minimizing environmental perturbations such as deforestation, intense urbanization, and intensive animal farming,” the article says. “Equally important are ending global poverty, improving sanitation and hygiene, and reducing unsafe exposure to animals, so that humans and potential human pathogens have limited opportunities for contact.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci said it himself: Fighting global pandemics may take “radical changes.” But the most “radical changes” of them all may be Dr. Fauci’s various positions on the Covid-19 pandemic, including what it may take to finally end it.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.