Monday, July 13, 2020

Skip The Veneration, Please

The Washington Post on Saturday was the first to report

A White House official released a statement saying that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things” and included a lengthy list of the scientist’s comments from early in the outbreak. Those included his early doubt that people with no symptoms could play a significant role in spreading the virus — a notion based on earlier outbreaks that the novel coronavirus would turn on its head. They also point to public reassurances Fauci made in late February, around the time of the first U.S. case of community transmission, that “at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis.” 

In his column on Monday, the Post's Greg Sargent recognizes that the Administration is spreading the "deceptive impression" that Dr. Fauci

has not actually been far more correct about the coronavirus than Trump has. 

More to the point, Fauci admits he made mistakes early on. As The Post report details, he underestimated the virus’s spreadability and at first counseled against mask-wearing to preserve masks for health workers. 

But if Fauci is now conceding that he, like many others, made early mistakes, and is trying to learn from them, why isn’t that a positive, particularly given that the virus is again surging across the country? 

That's enough to concede that Anthony Fauci has been far more honest and accurate than has Donald Trump, an extremely low bar to clear. Moreover, the nation's most celebrated infectious disease expert has been more good than bad and has had a salutary impact on the Administration, and probably on its response to the coronavirus.

But praise of Fauci has gone way beyond that, suggesting that he is not one to be questioned  nor ever to mislead the public:

Hopefully, the former White House chief of staff turned never-Trumper will prove psychic. However, the "tells the truth" is a little rich. In early June Dr. Fauci was asked why he had minimized the importance of masks and responded

Well, the reason for that is that we were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply. And we wanted to make sure that the people namely, the health care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in a harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected.

Fauci lied- and people died. If now that he is being sidelined by Trump and his minions he were to choose to resign and endorse Joe Biden for President, it would be appreciated. Welcome aboard! But as we learned from the adulation heaped upon President GHW Bush after the successful invasion of Kuwait and President GW Bush after the terrorism of 9/11/01, glorification of an individual is not only unseemly but can make us look awfully foolish in the end.

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