Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP
The White House’s top scientific advisor on Coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, pushes back the “craziness” of deniers, trolls, and Trumpists.
In a forthcoming interview with Kara Swisher’s New York Times podcast, Fauci explains, “It is essential as a scientist that you evolve your opinion and your recommendations based on the data as it evolves….And that’s the reason why I say people who then criticize me about that are actually criticizing science.”
Even as a mass vaccination campaign and an effective Government response have reduced daily deaths and cases by more than 90%, right-wing media and Trumpists have stepped up ad hominem assaults on Fauci. Without taking account of the evolving scientific findings on Coronavirus, they have isolated his assessments early in the pandemic on wearing of masks and the origin of the virus.
The assaults continue those of Donald Trump while he was in office, denying the Coronavirus threat, calling Fauci a “disaster”, and scientists “idiots”. Trump sidelined his specialists and made the neuroradiologist Dr. Scott Atlas his confidant as deaths soared towards the 500,000 mark.
The 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.”
It was not a change because I felt like flip-flopping. It was a change because the evidence changed, the data changed.
It isn’t a question of being wrong. It’s a question of going with the data as you have, and being humble enough and flexible enough to change with the data.
Fauci said he puts “very little weight in the craziness of condemning me”. However, he notes: “The thing that bothers you most of all is the impact it has on your family. I mean, getting death threats and getting your daughters and your wife threatened with obscene notes and threatening notes is not fun.”
The expert, who has been Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, reflects, “‘Fauci has blood in his hands.’ 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. Get real.”
The US recorded 90 Coronavirus deaths on Sunday. The 7-day average is 301, compared to 3,312 on January 17. There were 4,063 daily cases, compared to 300,779 on January 8.
The US death toll is 601,824 with 33,541,967 confirmed cases.