If you ask Dr. Anthony Fauci, he was a humble public servant who did the best he could to navigate the country through a once-in-a-generation pandemic, and he — as the personification of science itself — saved lives during COVID. When you ask if he deserves any culpability for any negative consequences as a result of pandemic policies, well, that’s a different story.
In a clip released Friday night, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour asked Fauci, “But I want to know what you think — you and the community got wrong. Was the closing of schools too draconian? How much of the delay did the fact that nobody fully understood the asymptomatic spread of this, nobody figured out it could actually bust through certain vaccine levels as well. What are the real takeaways, real lessons for public health?”
“I think we have to get away from the blame game because so many of the things you mentioned were unknowns at the time,” Fauci responded, before bloviating about “Monday morning quarterbacking.”
“We have to get away from the blame game,” says Dr. Anthony Fauci. Shutdowns were necessary, he adds, but some “schools stayed closed far too long.”
That said, he says the school where his daughter taught shut down for two weeks and “they didn’t do too badly.” pic.twitter.com/DlPnWShomj
— Christiane Amanpour (@amanpour) April 28, 2023
Fauci, for some reason, is on a bit of a media blitz, in addition to his CNN interview. From his comment, it is clear that he wants to be remembered as a selfless hero who gave his time and suggestions to the president — without any real power to enact lockdowns.
“I gave a public-health recommendation that echoed the CDC’s recommendation, and people made a decision based on that. But I never criticized the people who had to make the decisions one way or the other,” Fauci said to The New York Times in a recent interview.
While it is technically true that he had no real power in terms of shutting anything down, Fauci was perceived as the go-to “expert” on COVID whom the president, as well as other politicians, depended upon for advice. Should the president have used his judgment to ignore Fauci’s guidance, as some states did? Of course. Is Fauci presenting his role in the pandemic accurately? Not even close.
In fact, Fauci effectively told elected officials they would be responsible for “needless suffering and death” if they re-opened too quickly.
Readers should also keep in mind that Fauci wants to take credit for the COVID vaccine and the quickness with which it was released. Yet throughout 2020, Fauci cast doubt on Operation Warp Speed.
“The one thing that you would not want to see with a vaccine is getting an EUA before you have a signal of efficacy,” Fauci said in August 2020. “One of the potential dangers if you prematurely let a vaccine out is that it would make it difficult, if not impossible, for the other vaccines to enroll people in their trial.”
Now, though, he says that he made the decision in January 2020 to push the vaccine at breakneck speed.
Fauci told CNN in 2021,”…that the decision we made on January the 10th – to go all out and develop a vaccine – may have been the best decision that I’ve ever made with regard to an intervention as director of the institute.”
Of course, Americans now know that medical experts have since warned that some people who took the vaccine have a higher risk of adverse side effects. We also know that the side effects of lockdowns — rising mental health crises, drug addictions, domestic violence, low-quality education, and more social decay — were arguably worse than the disease.
Fauci, though, doesn’t want to focus on any of that. Perhaps he doesn’t want to concentrate on what went wrong because in order to do that, he would have to admit that politicians should not be making edicts and decrees that keep Americans in their homes and kids out of school and trampling freedom, based on ever-changing data.
If we were to look at the pandemic from all angles, Fauci would have to give credit to states like Georgia, Florida, and elsewhere for handling the pandemic in arguably better ways than those like New York and California which followed his guidance.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.