On July 9, 2020, The Morning Dispatch reported[i] the following:
“‘Some states, admittedly, opened up too early and too quickly,’ Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Wall Street Journal yesterday. ‘So that was something that probably should not have happened that led to this.’”
It is hard to tell whether this comment reveals Dr. Fauci’s lack of self-awareness, gracelessness, or political hackery.
Dr. Fauci made monumental decisions about when “flattening the curve” measures should be imposed and how severe they should be. When criticized for his recommendations, his most common defense is that his decisions were appropriate based on the scant information/data available at the time. Most Americans who believe the initial response was too severe assume that Dr. Fauci was not aware of how faulty both the Imperial College and the original IHME models were. Consequently, most of them have the grace to excuse Dr. Fauci’s judgments based on prediction models that either have proven[ii] or might be proven to have wildly overstated the danger of COVID-19. (There is a consensus among modelers even now.[iii])
Since the initial decisions, sufficient information/data has accumulated to reveal that his mitigation/suppression measures have killed and damaged the health of many people.
“…the disease has been responsible for 800,000 lost years of life so far. Considering only the losses of life from missed health care and unemployment due solely to the lockdown policy, we conservatively estimate that the national lockdown is responsible for at least 700,000 lost years of life every month, or about 1.5 million so far — already far surpassing the COVID-19 total.”[iv]
Most people have the grace not to say of Dr. Fauci’s directives, “So that was something that probably should not have happened…” I have searched in vain for an admission by Dr. Fauci that his original “lockdown” advice was, in light of subsequent events, too harsh.
Dr. Fauci has said, “staying closed for too long could cause ‘irreparable damage’” and “I don’t want people to think that any of us feel that staying locked down for a prolonged period of time is the way to go.”[v] To avoid such “irreparable damage,” states must reopen. Is Dr. Fauci unaware that the governors have insufficient data to determine precisely when or how rapidly to reopen? In other words, is he unaware that governors are in the same predicament that he was in when he advised the country “lockdown?” Though it is improbable, one cannot rule out the possibility that he is insufficiently self-aware to realize that he is doing unto others what he criticized others doing to him.
If Dr. Fauci is so unaware, he could redeem himself. For examples, he could admit that the severity of his “lockdowns” was overkill (literally), or have the grace not say about governors who must make agonizing and highly consequential decisions, “So that was something that probably should not have happened…,” or he could have gotten the National Institute of Health[vi] to help the governors avoid “irreparable damage” to the people of their state and the country.[vii] He has done nothing that I can find to redeem himself.
On the other hand, that may be too much to expect from someone in Dr. Fauci’s position. The primary expertise of anyone who becomes the head of any federal government agency is having the political skill and cunning to surpass all the other politically avarice people seeking the same job. People who have those traits tend not to have the level of expertise concerning the agency’s mission compared to those who devote their working hours to the agency’s mission. Politically avarice people also tend to be highly motivated to achieve political objectives.
Dr. Fauci has sowed fear-inducing confusion and has failed to explain the rationale for pivotal epidemiological issues, which people need to understand in order to assess the amount of danger COVID-19 presents. Such confusion and wondering adds to people’s anxieties (which weakens people’s ability to fight diseases) and fostered massive amounts of discord.
Fear and discord are quite useful if one seeks to transform a country fundamentally. Is that what Dr. Fauci is doing? Although there are signs that is his motive, a regular citizen can’t know. Sadly, however, the other explanations for why he is doing what he is doing are, at a minimum, unflattering.