Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the White House, repeatedly rejected a radio host’s assertion that he is turning people against getting vaccinated and should step down.
Fauci, who also serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on conservative host Hugh Hewitt’s program last week to discuss the Biden administration’s COVID-19 strategy. Hewitt pushed Fauci on the air to step down, claiming that the White House medical advisor is doing more harm than good for the American public.
“This is difficult for me, but I want to run down for your benefit. The controversies since the virus started include the botched testing at the beginning, no research on masks for children in primary care, the J & J pause, the controversy over the use or non-use of Ivermectin, and there was no study yet completed,” Hewitt said, according to a transcript of his show. “The no discussion of natural immunity which exists and ought to be out there, the discussion of herd immunity which has switched back and forth, the mask discussion at the [beginning], don’t wear masks, the noble lie and then wear masks, now equity issues in the FDA panel’s scientific discussion.”
“I’ve lost confidence in the CDC and the FDA. And I actually believe a lot of Americans, a significant part of America, now have lost confidence in you, Dr. Fauci. Is there a point where you will say I do more harm than good because people don’t listen to me anymore and step aside?” Hewitt asked.
Fauci rejected Hewitt’s suggestion: “No, absolutely, unequivocally no, Hugh.” The government medical advisor defended himself, saying that COVID has been “an evolving situation.”
“From day one, we had no idea that a virus that could actually kill so many people, would be completely asymptomatic in about 50-60% of people, and that many of the infections, almost half, were transmitted by people who had no symptoms. That’s where the mask situation got all muddled,” Fauci said. “When people are looking for definitive answers in an evolving situation, it doesn’t work that way, Hugh. It just doesn’t.”
Hewitt responded that the mask issue is just one part of the larger issue of Fauci’s credibility with the public. The radio host said that the doctor has lost credibility with right-of-center people and that his advice would not compel those Americans to get vaccinated.
“Can you accept that if that’s just a fact, you ought to respond to it and say, Mr. President, I think my time is up as a successful and effective spokesperson?” Hewitt said.
Fauci responded: “I just completely disagree with that premise because there are an awful lot of people who do listen, who do the right thing from a public health standpoint. So because there are a lot of people who have ideas about conspiracies and changing minds and flip-flopping, that’s not a reason to step down. Not at all.”
Hewitt continued to press his point and received more denials and rejections from Fauci.
“Hugh, I think that is a completely false narrative that people are not getting vaccinated because of me. I am very sorry. I’ve told you I’ve known you a long time, and I respect you, but I totally reject that people are not getting vaccinated because of me? Are you kidding me, Hugh? Come on,” Fauci said. “I am not an obstacle to getting vaccinations up, Hugh. That is a completely false narrative that I would have to absolutely reject.”
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