Fauci blames 'culture wars' for negative reaction to pandemic public health guidance

"And that sometimes beautiful independent streak in our country becomes counterproductive."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
In a recent interview, Dr. Anthony Fauci stood by the decisions he made during the coronavirus pandemic but admitted to making mistakes and missteps along the way.

The former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told The New York Times that while sometimes the guidance of public health officials turned out to be wrong, the missteps were a result of the constant shift in evidence which made pandemic response nearly impossible to get right.

"Communication in pandemics is difficult under the best of circumstances," Fauci told the outlet. "What has been so troubling to me as a health official is when you are dealing with a moving target, the evidence is evolving and new data becomes available, but you get so many different people with their own sets of data that are not real data, but even in a perfect world, it would not be easy."

Dr. Fauci blamed the intensity of the "culture wars" for impacting public health guidance. When it came to "masking", Dr. Fauci originally told the public that masking would not be necessary but later changed his tune.

When questioned if his constant shift in decision-making sowed distrust in Americans, and whether or not it resulted in vaccine skepticism, Fauci said he was "uncertain" but that it definitely added fuel to the culture war fire.

"When it comes to masking, I don’t know," Fauci said. "But I do know that the culture wars have been really, really tough from a public health standpoint. Ultimately, an epidemiologist sees it as an epidemiological phenomenon. An economist sees it from an economic standpoint. And I see it from somebody in bed dying."

On the COVID-19 vaccine, the controversial health expert blamed America's independent nature on people being skeptical of public health guidance.

"I think, almost paradoxically, you had people who were on the fence about getting vaccinated thinking, ‘Why are they forcing me to do this?’" Fauci said. "And that sometimes beautiful independent streak in our country becomes counterproductive."

Speaking to The New York Times, Dr. Fauci admitted that COVID-19 mandates contributed to anti-vaccine sentiments across the United States, although he stands by his public health recommendations.

When pressed on mandates that forced schools and businesses to shut down, Dr. Fauci got defensive and blamed state and local leaders for economic shutdowns despite issuing that guidance.

"Show me a school that I shut down and show me a factory that I shut down. Never. I never did," Fauci said. "I gave a public health recommendation that echoed the CDC’s recommendation, and people made a decision based on that. But I never criticized the people who had to make the decisions one way or the other."

On the most controversial topic of all, whether or not COVID-19 leaked from the Wuhan Lab, otherwise known as the "Lab Leak Theory", Dr. Fauci defended his position that the virus originated from a Wuhan wet market because there is more "evidence" that points in that direction. Fauci said he didn't brush off the Lab Leak Theory, but the evidence he has collected points against it.

"I feel that until you have a definitive proof of one or the other, it is essential to have an open mind," Fauci said. "But I want to highlight the difference between possible and probable. If you look at what’s possible, I absolutely keep an open mind until we get a definitive proof of one versus the other."

"All of the intelligence groups agree that this was not an engineered virus," he said. "And if it’s not an engineered virus, what actually leaked from the lab? If it wasn’t an engineered virus, somebody went out into the field, got infected, came back to the lab and then spread it out to other people. That ain’t a lab leak, strictly speaking. That’s a natural occurrence."

The Times' David Wallace-Wells pressed Fauci on gain-of-function research and whether or not the NIH had any role in the coronavirus outbreak, since it was revealed that the institute helped fund gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab.

"When the NIH resumed funding gain-of-function research after a three-year safety review, they did so under what was called the ‘P3CO’ framework, under which research with pathogens known to be infectious and dangerous to humans was held to a higher level of scrutiny," Wallace-Wells noted.

He asserted that the idea of a lab leak was improbable and that the viruses they handled in the lab did not correspond to the virus that caused the pandemic.

"What gets conflated is that the NIH funded them, therefore you are liable for the lab leak if it’s a lab leak," Fauci said. "It had nothing to do with what we did, because the viruses were unable to be made into SARS-CoV-2."

Not being entirely persuaded by Dr.Fauci's answers, Wallace-Wells pressed Fauci even harder about the NIH's involvement which led to a heated exchange.

"I’m not suggesting that the work described in that particular EcoHealth grant led to the pandemic. But we know that there was a lot of other work being done in Wuhan," Wallace-Wells said to Fauci. "And if I were you, and I was going to sleep every night thinking that there was even some very small chance that the virus came from a laboratory doing the kinds of research that I had helped promote and fund over the last few decades, I think that might weigh on me a bit, even if I was absolutely sure I had done everything I had done with the best intentions."

Fauci fired back, "Now you’re saying things that are a little bit troublesome to me. That I need to go to bed tonight worrying that NIH-funded research was responsible for pandemic origins."

"I’m not saying you need to do anything," Wallace-Wells said. "I’m putting myself in your shoes and telling you what I think it would mean to me to really believe there’s a chance, even a very small one, that this pandemic was the result of a lab leak."

"Well, I sleep fine. I sleep fine," Fauci said. "And remember, this work was done in order to be able to help prepare us for the next outbreak. This work was not conceived by me as I was having my omelet in the morning. It is a grant that was put before peer review of independent scientists whose main role is to try to get data to protect the health and safety of the American public and the world."

The leading coronavirus pandemic doctor has been at the height of controversy since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, not just in the United States but across the world.

In a recent report released by the US Department of Energy, the "lab leak theory" came to fruition after the United States recognized the leak to be plausible, although citing "low confidence." It was also recently revealed that Dr. Fauci prompted the drafting of 'Proximal Origins' to disprove the lab leak theory.


Join and support independent free thinkers!

We’re independent and can’t be cancelled. The establishment media is increasingly dedicated to divisive cancel culture, corporate wokeism, and political correctness, all while covering up corruption from the corridors of power. The need for fact-based journalism and thoughtful analysis has never been greater. When you support The Post Millennial, you support freedom of the press at a time when it's under direct attack. Join the ranks of independent, free thinkers by supporting us today for as little as $1.

Support The Post Millennial

Remind me next month

To find out what personal data we collect and how we use it, please visit our Privacy Policy

By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© 2024 The Post Millennial, Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information