The Corner

Health Care

Gee, What Would Make the Public Criticism of Fauci Grow More Intense?

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a hearing in Washington, D.C., June 30, 2020. (Al Drago/Reuters)

Attacks on Fauci grow more intense, personal and conspiratorial,” warns Politico today.

Yes, sure, fine, you can find nutty conspiracy theories, personal attacks, and unhinged demonization of Fauci, just as you can find that phenomenon of just about any public figure who has been venerated to the point of prayer candle merchandising.

But has it ever crossed the minds of the team at Politico that maybe, just maybe, Fauci has earned some fair criticism? Is it even remotely conceivable that significant swaths of the public are starting to get the sense that Fauci has been shading the truth and tweaking and tailoring his advice, sometimes in the face of well-reasoned opposition, for a long while now?

Nothing Fauci’s done earned him some criticism?

Not even his reversal on masks? Nothing in his emails, suggesting a symbiotic relationship with adoring reporters? Nothing in his evasive answers about whether U.S. taxpayer money ended up financing gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology? Nothing in Fauci’s past defenses of gain-of-function research? Not even when Fauci recommended fully vaccinated people continue to wear masks, later admitting, “before the CDC made the recommendation change, I didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals. But being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of my getting infected in an indoor setting is extremely low”?

Politico writes, “the veracity and velocity of the new attacks, nevertheless, underscored the growing intensity with which Fauci animates conservatives some five months after Trump has left office.” The entire crux of the article is that this week’s louder and angrier criticism of Fauci is self-evidently a reflection of Internet disinformation and unhinged rage, needlessly endangering the wise doctor who guided America through the pandemic, and the criticism that could not possibly have any valid reasoning based in reality.

Why, it’s almost as if a lot of people in the national media have metaphorically invested in that image of Fauci as the infallible wise man of American medicine, and desperately want to protect that investment.

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