It’s been a pretty great year if your name is Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Sure, there’s been the whole pandemic thing. Americans have experienced unprecedented unemployment rates, business shutdowns that went from “temporary” to permanent, and an education system neglected due to school closures. Hollow promises of “15 days to slow the spread” have turned the last year into a living hell for most of the country.
Still, Fauci has enjoyed unlimited time in the spotlight, is the highest paid official in the entire federal government, received a $1 million award for “speaking truth to power,” and is the subject of fawning media interviews and numerous magazine covers.
And now, he’s going to be the hero of a children’s book. Dr. Fauci: How A Boy From Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor! will hit the shelves on June 29th, courtesy of Simon & Schuster. In one of many glowing features, CNN wrote that the book will “immortalize” Dr. Fauci.
Why are we “immortalizing” a bureaucrat who helped steer the country toward economic and mental despair?
First, our culture has a “hero-worship” problem, with political figures often receiving the highest praise. We see it in every election cycle: people pick a candidate as their hero, ignore any faults that conflict with their desired narrative, and wring their hands, hoping for this person to miraculously save the country.
It’s the same story with Dr. Fauci, except for the fact that he wasn’t even chosen by voters.
When he first appeared in press conferences during Donald Trump’s pandemic-era presidency, left-wing journalists would purr, “finally, an adult in the room.”
Sure, he has plenty of experience in medicine, and performs well on television. That’s why the government has a long history of using him to make people feel safe — like someone is in control.
None of this makes him any more worthy of the title, “America’s Doctor” than your own local physician, but it does say a little something about our country’s cult of “scientism” — that is, an excessive belief in the power of scientific knowledge and techniques.
Take a drive through any suburban neighborhood, and you’re bound to see the yard signs. “In this house, we believe in science” says one popular version. “Thank you, science!” cries another.
The Fauci fandom has become so blindly fixated on “trusting the science,” that they’ve forgotten what science actually is. By nature, science is argument. It is debate. It is controversy. It is attempting to disprove a theory, rather than blindly adhering to one.
If you really believe in science, you know that it can’t ever be fully “settled” — it must constantly be verified and challenged, proven and disproven. This is why shrieking “trust the science” at every turn does nothing for achieving progress and building consensus.
Breakthroughs over centuries of human history prove the value of controversial, unpopular opinions. Without brave and intelligent people who didn’t accept “settled science,” we wouldn’t know that the earth is round, or that germs exist, or understand how gravity works.
It certainly doesn’t help that Dr. Fauci paints those who disagree with his draconian lockdowns and isolation as “anti-science and anti-authority.” Of course, it’s hard not to be anti-authority when the media and the government’s darling spokesman is telling us that “America has an independent spirit, but now is the time to do what you’re told.”
Especially when “doing what you’re told” means not seeing your loved ones. Or losing a business you’ve spent your entire life building. Or letting your children suffer through brutal social isolation and a complacent schooling system caught in a union stranglehold.
All of this is to say, Fauci appearing in children’s literature isn’t a huge surprise. Could we expect anything less after the COVID-19 vaccine was nicknamed the “Fauci Ouchie?” This is just the latest manifestation of our cult of authority.
It’s important to note that such hero-worship of government figures precedes the pandemic, and creates a tough environment to raise a child in, especially if you hope to teach that child to think critically. Young minds are constantly bombarded with messages from the mainstream media, the government, and cultural figures. These messages tell our children how to act, how to live, and what to think.
In the public school system, critical race theory, “wokeness,” and revisionist history are taking center stage. Your kids won’t be learning about critical thinking, individual rights, or free market economics anytime soon — at least not in class.
As a parent, you may want to pick up the slack yourself. But the concepts of freedom are complex. And if you teach them to your children yourself, you’re constantly being undermined by the same vocal crowd peddling Dr. Fauci picture books.
It takes more than reading material for kids to grasp reality, but it’s a great place to start. The so-called “Left” is already using literature to reach our young minds. It’s time we stop sitting on the sidelines and win the minds of our children.
The real pandemic is blind public trust in the government’s benevolence. The antidote is raising a new generation of critical thinkers, questioners, and consensus-challengers.
Connor Boyack is author of the Tuttle Twins children’s book series, which teaches the ideas of a free society to the rising generation. He is also president of Libertas Institute, a free market think tank.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.