Dr. Anthony Fauci — the top U.S. immunologist, whom some critics claim has morphed his positions several times during the COVID-19 pandemic — has gone third person.
“The more extreme they get, the more obvious how political it is … ‘Fauci has blood on his hands,’” the infectious diseases expert said in The New York Times podcast “Sway.” “Are you kidding me? … Here’s a guy whose entire life has been devoted to saving lives, and now you’re telling me he’s like Hitler? You know, come on, folks.”
Fauci doubled down on his claim that critics who attack him are “actually criticizing science.”
“It is essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves,” Fauci said. “And that’s the reason why I say people who then criticize me about that are actually criticizing science,” he told interviewer Kara Swisher.
“[T]he people who are giving the ad hominems are saying, ‘Ah, Fauci misled us. First he said no masks, then he said masks.’ Well, let me give you a flash. That’s the way science works. You work with the data you have at the time. That is the nature of science. It is a self-correcting process.”
Fauci said his evolving positions was “not a change because I felt like flip-flopping. It was a change because the evidence changed, the data changed.”
Back in March 2020, when the World Health Organization claimed COVID-19 was spread mostly by surface transmission, Fauci declared, “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.”
“When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is,” the doctor said on CBS News.
This past February, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who served on former President Trump’s White House Coronavirus Task Force and is now President Biden’s chief medical adviser on COVID-19, said that wearing two masks is likely more effective than wearing one.
“If you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on it, just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective,” Fauci told NBC News.
Fauci said he was right both times. “It isn’t a question of being wrong,” Fauci said. “It’s a question of going with the data as you have, and being humble enough and flexible enough to change with the data.”
The immunologist said in a recent interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that the recent criticism he faced is “quite frankly attacks on science.”
“Because all of the things I have spoken about consistently, from the very beginning have been fundamentally based on science,” he said. “Sometimes those things were inconvenient truths for people and there was pushback against me, so if you are trying to, you know, get at me as a public health official and a scientist, you’re really attacking not only Dr. Anthony Fauci, you’re attacking science, and anybody that looks at what is going on clearly sees that.”
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