Anthony Fauci recently announced that he will resign from government work in December, most notably his position as director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Despite sympathetic media coverage, he leaves behind a troubling record of lies and inconsistency regarding the pandemic.
- On masks: Told the public initially that masks weren’t effective against the virus, discouraging their use so that there would be more available for health care workers. He then promoted them for the remainder of the pandemic, despite leaked emails showing he believed they were “not really effective.”
- On lockdowns: Encouraged the entire country to adopt New York’s severe lockdown strategy when there was no proof that these restrictions lowered COVID cases.
- On herd immunity: Lied about the rate of vaccination required for herd immunity: “When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would [require a] 70 to 75 percent [vaccination rate]. Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, ‘I can nudge this up a bit,’ so I went to 80, 85.”
- On masks for kids: Promoted masks and booster shots for children despite clear evidence that children are least at risk and least likely to spread the virus. He stated that masking would “hopefully” not have any “lasting negative impact” on them.
- On reopening schools: Repeatedly advised against it, ignoring low transmission rates in schools.
- On risky viral research: Lied under oath to Congress by denying that the NIAID had funded “gain-of-function” research in Wuhan, China. The research is likely the cause of the virus outbreak due to Fauci’s loosening of safety restrictions for the Wuhan lab.
- On mandates: Promoted discriminatory, unscientific vaccine mandates, including for children, that even the CDC eventually walked away from.
Retiring could be a strategic move. If Republicans gain control of the House or Senate after the midterms, they plan to investigate his role in the botched pandemic response and risky gain-of-function research.