As the coronavirus pandemic approaches the two-year mark, Dr. Anthony Fauci is still making the rounds on the Sunday shows — even getting his own documentary — and I have just one question: Why?
Why is anyone still listening to anything he has to say? Why does anyone care whether he thinks it’s safe to visit grandma this Thanksgiving? Why is anyone asking him for permission to “return to normal” — or at least let kids participate in physical education without face masks? Why, after he’s held nearly every possible position on every possible COVID-related issue, is he still the go-to for every cable news network, not to mention the President of the United States? (RELATED: The Two Face Masks Of Dr. Anthony Fauci)
But the flip-flops are only part of the problem. And honestly, for anyone who understands the way the scientific process works, the fact that Fauci flipped from “no mask” to “pro-mask” in just a few months isn’t really the problem. When dealing with a novel virus like COVID, any new data that becomes available could potentially — and dramatically — change the calculus. Learning that coronavirus didn’t survive long on surfaces, for example, largely put a stop to people sanitizing their mail.
The real problem was Fauci’s admission that he had lied about the American public needing masks in the first place – along with the reason and the ease with which he chose dishonesty over giving people the facts and the freedom to respond to them. He said that he told Americans not to worry about wearing face masks out of concern that people might hoard them and cause a shortage of PPE for first responders.
Daily Mail columnist and former cohost of ABC’s “The View” Meghan McCain argued that Fauci’s decision to lie created a credibility problem that in her mind was insurmountable.
‘I Was Lied To’: Meghan McCain Lashes Out At Biden, Fauci And Amazon Over COVID Hypocrisy https://t.co/7VGFpcaeNr
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) January 22, 2021
“Just say to me, ‘First responders need them more than average American. Please donate them from the good of your heart.’ I would have done the same thing, but I was lied to,” McCain said.
Fauci later conceded that he had also lied about herd immunity because he did not think the American people were ready to hear the truth. The concern, again, was not just that Fauci lied but that he asserted himself as the sole arbiter of what the American people were ready to or deserved to know.
When it came time to dig into the origins of the pandemic, Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul argued that Fauci had also dishonestly represented his own role in the gain-of-function research that could have led to the novel coronavirus’ creation.
‘You Do Not know What You’re Talking About’: Rand Paul Clashes With Fauci In Tense Capitol Hill Hearing https://t.co/cuCJkzrmnO
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 20, 2021
Fauci continued to insist that what appeared to be a textbook example of gain-of-function research was not actually gain-of-function research because the people who stood to lose the most had redefined it as something else. Admiral Brett Giroir defended Paul’s line of questioning as “legitimate” and accused Fauci of “hiding behind technical definitions.”
‘Legitimate Questions’: Admiral Giroir Defends Rand Paul, Accuses Fauci Of ‘Hiding Behind Technical Definitions’ https://t.co/ROlTBiImX7
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 21, 2021
But still, the Sunday appearances have continued, and in the space of just a few weeks, Fauci has both warned that it was “too soon to tell” if a regular family Christmas would be safe and said that people should celebrate Christmas with their families. After all, he plans to do that himself.
Fauci Tells Americans To Enjoy ‘Normal’ Christmas After Floating COVID Cancellation https://t.co/t62om04LBk
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 4, 2021
Fauci even addressed Halloween, which he said was fine to enjoy — “especially if you’re vaccinated” — but also the perfect time to really think about getting vaccinated.
Fauci on Halloween this year pic.twitter.com/2e4G9KDkso
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 11, 2021
And still …
— Disney+ (@disneyplus) October 4, 2021
But who’s really listening? Fauci’s documentary, despite high marks from critics, bombed with the public. Fox News host Jesse Watters mocked Fauci, calling him “the perfect Hollywood actress.”
“Craves attention, loves drama and if you criticize his performance, ‘Oh, they only hate me because I’m beautiful,'” Watters told fellow Fox News host and Daily Caller cofounder Tucker Carlson. “This is the thing, we don’t hate the truth we just want Tony to tell it. We trust the science, we just don’t trust that scientist, because, Tucker, this is the same guy that funded the risky research in that sloppy lab that sprung this pandemic, and then he kept us all locked inside to protect us from a virus that mostly spreads inside. So instead of resigning and doing the right thing, he goes on television and actually suggests that future historians document his life and treat him as a hero.”
So is anyone still listening to Fauci? Sen. Paul gives the same answer I would: “I don’t think anyone is going to be listening to Scrooge Fauci. I know I won’t be.”