Fauci the liar

By Tom Woods

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the physician and immunologist who has advised half a dozen presidents, gets very high ratings from the American people.

Personally, I don’t get it. I can barely stand the sight of the guy.

Leave aside his opinions on locking down the country. That’s a topic for another day.

Right now let’s just look at the false impressions he has given about how soon he was warning of the need for drastic measures against the coronavirus.

My erstwhile co-author Chris Ferrara just examined all this in great detail in The Remnant, where I used to have a column years ago.

On January 21, Fauci said:

“This is not a major threat to the people in the United States. And this is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.”

Before I get unjustified pushback: I am not criticizing him for having been wrong. I am simply establishing what his opinions were at what time.

On February 18: “I don’t think people should be frightened. The risk right now, today, currently, is really relatively low for the American public.” “That could change,” Fauci added. But “right now, don’t worry about it, be more concerned about influenza, which is going into a second peak for the season, than coronavirus…. People wearing masks now is just not relevant. You don’t need to be walking around with a mask right now.”

On February 29:

“No, right now, at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis.  Right now, the risk is still low, but this could change. I’ve said that many times…. You gotta watch out, because although the risk is low now—you don’t need to change anything you’re doing—when you start to see community spread, this could change.”

Now let’s see how, in media interviews, Fauci has tried to paint the picture of these months. There are numerous examples; I’ll draw excerpts just from his interview with Jake Tapper on Easter Sunday:

TAPPER: The New York Times reported today that you and other top officials wanted to recommend social distancing and physical distancing guidelines to President Trump as far back as the third week of February, but the administration didn’t announce such guidelines to the American public until March 16, almost a month later. Why?

That’s strange wording, isn’t it? “Wanted to recommend”?

DR. FAUCI: You know, Jake, as I have said many times, we look at it from a pure health standpoint.  We make a recommendation. Often the recommendation is taken; sometimes it’s not. But it is what it is. We are where we are right now.

Reading that, would you not conclude that Fauci had been recommending “social distancing and physical distancing guidelines” during the third week of February? But as we’ve seen, on the very last day of February Fauci was saying publicly that no behavioral changes were required!

Then Tapper asked, “Do you think lives could have been saved if social distancing, physical distancing, stay-at-home measures, had started the third week of February instead of mid-March?”

Of course, Fauci himself hadn’t come close to recommending stay-at-home orders in the third week of February, but the viewer could be forgiven for thinking he had, based on this response:

“Obviously you could logically say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier you could’ve saved lives, obviously. No one is going to deny that. But what goes into those kinds of decisions is complicated. But, you’re right: obviously, if we had right from the beginning shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different. But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then.”

There was pushback to social distancing and shutting the country down in the third week of February? Who was even suggesting those things back then? And of course the implication is that Trump was doing the pushing back. But these things were not recommended, by Fauci or anyone, at the time.

The shutdowns began in numerous states in the middle of March, after which time Trump indicated his desire to see the country reopened by Easter. It was in response to this, in mid-to-late March, that Birx and Fauci urged the president to keep things locked down longer.

Finally, on April 13, Fauci came clean:

The first and only time that Dr. Birx and I went in and formally made a recommendation to the President to actually have a quote “shutdown” in the sense of—not really shutdown but to have really strong mitigation…the President listened to the recommendation and went to the mitigation.

The next, second time, that I went with Dr. Birx in to the President and said “fifteen days are not enough, we need to go thirty days,” obviously there are people who had a problem because of the potential secondary effects. Nonetheless, the President at that time went with the health recommendations and we extended it another thirty days.

So, I can only tell you what I know and what my recommendations were. But clearly as happens all the time, there were interpretations of that response to a hypothetical question [by Tapper] that I just thought it would be very nice for me to clarify because I didn’t have the chance to clarify it.

When another reporter asked Fauci for the date when he first made these recommendations, all of a sudden Fauci couldn’t remember:

“You know, to be honest with you, I don’t even remember what the date was. I can just tell you that the first and only time that I went in and said that we should do mitigation strongly the response was ‘Yes, we’ll do it.’”

“The problem for Fauci,” writes Ferrara, “is that if he admitted it was not until at least mid-March that he advised Trump not to ‘open up the country’ by Easter then it would be clear that everything he had implied during his previous media interviews about Trump’s failure to act promptly in January and February was a lie and that, in truth, during those months Trump was merely following Fauci’s own advice that no drastic measures were necessary. Hence Fauci’s convenient memory lapse about a date he could not possibly have forgotten.”


Tom Woods

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