KNOWLES: Which Dr. Fauci Should We Listen To?

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 30: Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. The committee discussed efforts to safely get back to work and school during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images)
Al Drago- Getty Images

On January 28, during a conversation with the nation’s second-largest teacher’s union, Dr. Anthony Fauci derided the recent fashion trend of wearing two face masks at once to protect against the Chinese coronavirus. “There are many people who feel, you know, if you really want to have an extra bit of protection, maybe I should put two masks on,” Fauci observed with characteristic diplomacy. “There’s nothing wrong with that,” he assured the neurotics, “but there’s no data that indicates that that is going to make a difference.”

The data must have changed considerably in the three days after Fauci spoke with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie on January 25. During that interview, Fauci spoke favorably of double-masking, opining, “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.”

Who needs data when we have Dr. Fauci’s common sense?

The exalted epidemiologist took a dimmer view of “common sense” when the virus first surged in the spring of 2020. Speaking with 60 Minutes on March 8, Fauci discouraged the use of any face covering. “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” he explained. “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.” Moreover, the maskers may do more harm than good. “Often,” he warned, “there are unintended consequences: people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.”

Fauci later admitted to having been manipulative about his view on the efficacy of masks. During an interview with The Street in June, Fauci asserted, “Masks work.” He explained that his prior assertions to the contrary owed to political rather than scientific calculations. “Well, the reason for that is that we were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply.” As a scientific matter, the masks offered the same protection to healthcare workers that they did to the general population. But as a political matter, Fauci considered healthcare workers more deserving of protection. “We wanted to make sure that the people namely, the health care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in a harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected,” Fauci confessed without a hint of shame.

As “fifteen days to slow the spread” enters its three-hundred-twenty-third day, the liberal establishment demands that we continue to obey the lab coat-clad technocrats who dictate ever more of our national policy. “Trust the experts,” they admonish us. But which Dr. Fauci do they expect us to trust: the flip-flopping gasbag of the past ten days or the admitted deceiver of the past ten months? And how has either iteration of this “expert” earned our trust?

More from Michael Knowles: Keep Tubman Off The $20

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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