August 26, 2022

Anthony Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease official who became the face of America's COVID-19 pandemic response under Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden, announced on Monday he is stepping down in December after 54 years of public service.” Reuters

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From the Left

The left praises Fauci for his long-term contributions to public health.

“‘The most important priority for the National Institute of Health [NIH], and especially the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, led by Dr. Fauci was the creation of a vaccine,’ said Dr. William Haseltine… ‘Nobody could have imagined it could have been done so rapidly, so fast… not only did they develop the [COVID] vaccine — from a scientific point of view, they managed and conducted a global trial of the COVID-19 vaccine in, what I would say, is unimaginably rapid time.’”

Matthew Rozsa, Salon

“AIDS. SARS. H1N1 influenza. Ebola. Covid-19. Monkeypox. Infectious disease outbreaks often come and go, though some persist over the long haul, much like the man who has occupied the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984…

“In the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic, Dr. Fauci never gave up… If he weren’t retiring in December, I’d imagine him working to his very last breath until there was a cure for AIDS. We should all have his resolve and commitment.”

Gregg Gonsalves, New York Times

“[Fauci] held the same role under seven presidents—dating all the way back to Reagan. In 2008, President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom…

“His example should be an inspiration to the next generation of the best and brightest—in public health and beyond—to serve their fellow citizens through government. But it may be just the opposite: The next generation could look at the way he has been vilified for his service and conclude that collecting a government salary to publicly debate craven halfwits over obvious truths simply isn’t worth it. In short, we may never benefit from someone like Fauci in public service again. And, that, perhaps, is the greatest loss.”

Abdul El-Sayed, New Republic

“In early 2020, Fauci downplayed the value of masks to protect supply for health care workers. In late 2020, in response to public polling, he ‘nudged up’ his estimate of the threshold for herd immunity to motivate people to get vaccinated…

“Yes, the steady dethronement of science has taken a dark and troubling turn, as Fauci’s death threats reveal. This is a menacing social problem, and one that public health alone cannot solve. But if there’s one useful lesson the scientific community can take away from Fauci’s diminished standing, it’s that the CDC’s lauded mantra for crisis communication—’be first, right, be credible’—could use an addendum: ‘Be transparent.’”

Tim Requarth, Slate

From the Right

The right criticizes Fauci for his misleading public statements about Covid.

The right criticizes Fauci for his misleading public statements about Covid.

“The most grating thing about the Fauci phenomenon was the cult of personality that developed around him on the left and which only contributed to the right’s suspicions about him. In his defense, some of that was inevitable irrespective of anything he did. Democrats style themselves as the party of science and Fauci’s COVID caution fit neatly with their ‘safety first’ risk-aversion; they were destined to leverage his authority in the name of promoting their favored policies by treating him like an icon…

“But Fauci played into it. How many fawning media profiles did he sit for? How many federal bureaucrats have gotten a photo spread in InStyle, including sitting poolside with sunglasses on, let alone gotten one in the middle of a pandemic?”

Allahpundit, Hot Air

“Was it an evolution in science that compelled Fauci to tell Americans, ‘[t]here’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,’ only to implore them to strap on two masks a few months later? Fauci admitted he lied about the efficacy of masking, fearing it would instigate a shortage. ‘We really need to save the masks for the people who need them most,’ he later said…

“In the early days of the pandemic, Fauci kept citing the estimate of 60–70 percent vaccination level for reaching herd immunity. Later, he claimed it would be ‘70, 75 percent.’ And finally, ‘75, 80, 85 percent.’ Fauci later admitted lying about that, as well, because ‘polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine.’…

“[He] claimed anyone who criticizes him was criticizing ‘science’ — ‘because I represent science.’ But the job of a public health bureaucrat is to relay information to elected officials and the public, not threaten the citizens with doom, or coax or trick them into acting in ways he prefers… Fauci didn’t singlehandedly create the distrust in public health institutions, which have been politicized for decades. His arrogance, however, epitomized the authoritarian mindset of the public health mandarin.”

David Harsanyi. The Federalist

“Fauci’s biggest blunder probably wasn’t anything specific he said about masks, or infection rates or vaccines. It was his broader failure to speak scientific sense when he had the visibility and credibility to at least try. He could have pointed out that cyclical lockdowns for years on end were ineffective and unworkable, but he never really did. He could have called out the hypocritical idea that the Black Lives Matter protests or riots ought somehow to be exempt from social distancing regulations because they were politically fashionable. But he didn’t.”

Freddy Gray, Spectator World

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